LUCKNOW: While the Samajwadi Party (SP) declared Gulshan Bindu, a transgender, as its mayoral candidate for the newly-formed Ayodhya-Faizabad Municipal Corporation, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is again set to apply its Brahmin-Dalit formula in the upcoming UP civic polls by announcing the name of a Brahmin as it candidate from Jhansi.
The Ayodhya-Faizabad mayoral tussle is set to be interesting as it is one of the most prestigious seats for the ruling BJP also. It is one of three new seats, apart from Vrindavan-Mathura and Saharanpur, going to the polls next month.
Gulshan (47) contested the 2012 Assembly elections as an independent candidate and stood fourth with 22,023. Thereafter, later in the same year, she also gave a shot at the Faizabad Nagar Palika's chairman post in the urban bodies polls and finished second in a close contest against BJP's Vijay Gupta.
Extending gratitude to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav for showing confidence in her. "Ayodhya se mein Yogi ji ko jawab doongi (I will give a befitting reply to Yogiji in Ayodhya)," she maintained.
During the 2012 assembly elections, the BJP had lodged a complaint against Gulshan Bindu, accusing her of violating the code of conduct by making people swear to vote for her. It is a common belief in many parts of the state that not fulfilling a pledge or promise made to a transgender is inauspicious. At the same time their blessings are considered auspicious.
The SP also announced names of six other mayoral candidates Meerut, Bareilly, Moradabad, Aligarh, Jhansi and Gorakhpur - the strong hold of chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati has started the announcement of mayoral candidates by playing her first upper-caste card in the run-up to urban local bodies elections. The Dalit leader chose Brijendra Vyas, aka Dum Dum Maharaj, a Brahmin, as the party's mayoral candidate from Jhansi.
It is the first announcement of a mayoral candidate by BSP, which is contesting elections for the 16 municipal corporations on its election symbol. Jhansi goes to poll in the third and last phase scheduled on November 29.
Vyas was an elected MLA in 2002 on BSP ticket from Garautha Assembly constituency in Jhansi but was denied ticket in the 2007 polls. His candidature as party's mayoral candidate brings the spotlight back on Mayawati's tested Dalit-Brahmin social engineering formula that catapulted her to power with an absolute majority in 2007 Assembly elections.
Political experts, however, said that BSP may face a stiff challenge from BJP which has always won the Jhansi mayoral seat.