The outgoing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati, still smarting under the defeat in the Assembly elections, has decided that the Bahujan Samaj Party will not contest the local bodies polls due to be held later this year.
Ms. Mayawati said the decision had been taken to protect the BSP workers from becoming victims of poll violence. She alleged that the formation of the Samajwadi Party government had signalled the return of the ‘goonda raj.'
Ms. Mayawati said the civic polls would not be supervised by the Election Commission and manned by the Central forces, but would be held under the State Election Commission and the security agencies of the State. She added that free and fair elections were not possible under the SP government.
The BSP president was addressing a convention of national party workers here on Sunday.
She said the decision not to contest the civic polls was taken to prevent the loss of “life and property” of the BSP workers.
For the BSP's loss, she blamed the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. “While the Congress announced 4.5 per cent reservation for the minorities in a bid to woo the Muslims, the BJP opposed it for getting OBC votes. The Muslims voted en masse for the Samajwadi Party.” She said there was a difference of 24.5 lakh votes between the seat count of the BSP and the SP, yet it left an impact on 144 seats.
Meanwhile, speculation is rife in BSP circles that Ms. Mayawati will go to the Rajya Sabha and give up her seat in the State Legislative Council. The notification for the Rajya Sabha polls for 10 seats from Uttar Pradesh will be issued on Monday, and the elections, if needed, would be held on March 30.
Having won 80 seats in the Assembly polls, the BSP can send two members to the Rajya Sabha. While, Ms. Mayawati is likely to be one of the party candidates, the name of the other member is yet to be finalised.