LUCKNOW: The first list of 100 candidates of Western Uttar Pradesh released by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday was tilted towards Muslim candidates. However, in the second list of another 100 candidates released by her on Friday, Mayawati tried to strike a balance among different castes, showcasing her penchant for social engineering.
In the second list, although Dalit candidates have enjoyed an upper hand with 27 seats to their credit, upper castes with 26, including eight kshatriyas and 14 brahmins, OBCs with 24 tickets and Muslims with 23 are not far behind.
The second list features candidates mainly for Rohilkhand comprising of Terai region and central UP, including Lucknow, Kanpur, Unnao, Sitapur, Shajehanpur and the Samajwadi strongholds of Kannuaj, Etawa and Mainpuri.
The party had to find new faces in place of six sitting MLAs, five of whom had switched sides to the BJP while the remaining one -- Indrapal Singh (Sikandra)-- failed to get the party ticket and he has been replaced by an OBC candidate Mahendra Kaityar.
The party, apparently, has followed a different strategy this time as 16 of the 27 Dalit candidates have been replaced in the reserved seats and 11 have been retained, including those two who had won in the 2012 Assembly elections.
Similarly, of 24 OBCs, 17 new candidates will try their luck and the party has reposed faith in seven.
The scenario has undergone major change vis-a-vis upper caste candidates. Of 26, only five of the previous
2012 elections have been repeated while rest of the 21 candidates have been replaced. However, of the
five who have got tickets again this time, four, including former minister Nakul Dubey, had lost in 2012.
On the other hand, seven of 23 Muslim candidates have been retained by the party. Among these seven, three had won the previous polls while the other four have got the ticket despite losing in the last 2012 elections.
BSP’s first list for 100 seats is dominated by Muslim candidates who have got over 35 per cent of tickets. The first list named candidates from western Uttar Pradesh. With a sizeable population of the minority community, this part of the State will go to polls in the first and second phases on February 11 and 15.