Will Mayawati contest in 2019? BSP chief eyeing 35 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh

While BSP chief Mayawati has got into poll mode for 2019 Lok Sabha battle, she may spring another surprise by jumping into the fray herself from her old constituency Ambedkarnagar.

Published: 28th March 2018 08:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2018 08:32 PM   |  A+A-

BSP supremo Mayawati | PTI

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: After reaffirming her party’s alliance with arch-rival Samajwadi Party, while BSP chief Mayawati has got into the poll mode for 2019 Lok Sabha battle, she may spring another surprise by jumping into the fray herself from her old constituency Ambedkarnagar.

While SP-BSP victory in Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypoll has given much-needed oxygen to gasping blue brigade which had failed to even open an account in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BSP chief, who stopped fighting for the lower house after 2004, may change her stand and test the poll waters from Ambedkarnagar in 2019. It is a seat which the BSP chief had represented in Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

All this long, Mayawati has been keeping away from elections on the pretext of her organisational responsibilities and has been taking the upper house route to legislature both at centre and state. In
2007, after forming the government in UP, Mayawati took up the membership of Council, while in 2012, she was elected to Rajya Sabha. It may be recalled the BSP chief had quit her Rajya Sabha membership in July last year as a mark of protest.

“Now after anointing younger brother Anand Kumar as party vice-president who takes good care of organisation, behenji can certainly contest in 2019,” said a senior BSP leader.

“If she contests herself, demoralised cadre will be rejuvenated to put their maximum to revive the party after three successive defeats—2012, 2014 and 2017,” said another BSP leader seeking anonymity.
He added that the decision over her contest would be final only after the SP-BSP alliance would be firmed up.

Moreover, busy in reconstituting zonal, district and booth level committees of the party, the BSP chief, as the sources claim,  may seek 35 of 80 LS seats in UP 2019. These include those constituencies where BSP had stood runner-up in previous 2014 Lok Sabha elections but could win none.

The BSP sources say that the process to screen the prospective candidates for 2019 is already on but names will be finalised only after the picture of seat sharing becomes clear.

If grand alliance inclusive is cobbled up with Congress, RLD and a few left outfits being its part, seat sharing would be the most tricky part. With Mayawati being a hard bargainer, if she manages to
strike a deal for 35 of 80 LS seats, partners would be left only with 45 seats to fight on.

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