RAIPUR: With the earlier negotiations on the pre-poll alliance between the main opposition Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Chhattisgarh yet to reach a conclusion, the latter is apparently contemplating fielding its candidates from at least 80 Assembly segments in the state.
The BSP, after scrutiny of applications called from party cadres keen to contest elections has prepared a list of 270 candidates. The names of the aspirants have been sent to the BSP party chief Mayawati for approval.
"The BSP is keeping options open to contest from all seats and accordingly our preparations remain in full swing. Besides winnability being the main criteria, the party will give tickets to those candidates who have a clean image", said the BSP state president O P Vajpayee.
However, if Congress insiders are to be believed, there is not much possibility of entering into an agreement with the BSP if it demands more than five seats in Chhattisgarh. The BSP had earlier insisted on at least 20 of the total 90 seats of the state.
"So far there is no Congress-BSP tie-up in Chhattisgarh. We have no issues entering into dialogue on Congress-BSP alliance ahead of the polls but that should equally reflect the existing ground situations and political realities", a senior Congress leader told TNIE.
Mayawati had sent state in-charge Ashok Siddharth to Raipur to seek feedback from party leaders in August.
Congress leaders believe that giving more than five seats to BSP will be an effective loss to the party. "We are yet to take any decision on the seat arrangement. More seats for the BSP doesn't imply that all the votes meant for the Congress in the constituencies left for BSP will go in the latter's favour", Congress president Bhupesh Baghel said.
According to BSP the party could win one seat in 2013 polls but in as many as 22 seats the Congress candidates were defeated owing to division of votes between them. In two seats BSP was at second position. The BSP remains strong in Bilaspur division where the party has got the maximum applicants.