LUCKNOW: After coming out in support of Samajwadi Party stalwart and Rampur MLA Azam Khan by flaying his 27 months of incarceration, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has decided against fielding a party candidate in the Rampur Lok Sabha bypoll slated to be held along with Azamgarh on June 23.
The BSP chief, however, made it clear that she would field a candidate in Azamgarh.
Notably, the bypolls to Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats have been necessitated after Azam Khan and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav vacated their seats respectively after winning from Rampur and Karhal assembly segments in recently concluded UP assembly elections.
In a statement issued after a two-day party review meeting here on Sunday, the BSP made it clear that it would neither contest nor support any candidate in Rampur as the party needed to work on the seat to make it strong. However, it finalized the name of Guddu Jamali as the party candidate for the Azamgarh seat.
As per the highly-placed sources, the BSP decided to give a walkover to Azam Khan by not fielding a candidate in Rampur. In all probability, Rampur would get a candidate proposed by Azam Khan as the seat has been his stronghold. Using the influence of Azam Khan, the SP won the seat twice when Jayaprada contested as a party candidate and won the seat.
If the sources are to be believed, this time, Azam Khan wants a candidate from his family to represent Rampur in Lok Sabha.
On the contrary, in Azamgarh, SP is contemplating to field Dimple Yadav, Akhilesh’s wife and former MP from Kannauj, to retain the seat with the family.
However, at the meeting of her party leaders, Mayawati said the BSP was a party with limited resources and it was political rivals who were supported by capitalists. "We have to make the party strong by holding small cadre-based meetings," she exhorted the cadre.
"We did not get expected results in the assembly polls even after hard work," she said, adding a "new political development will give a new lease of life to the party and for this attempts are on".
The BSP chief claimed that it was only the BSP that was capable of uprooting the BJP from the state the way it did with Congress. She charged the government of the day with creating an atmosphere of fear and atrocities on the poor. “Anarchy is seen in the BJP rule but people cannot muster the courage to speak against them,” she maintained.
At the meeting, Mayawati advised party workers to hold cadre meetings on the issues of employment and basic problems of people.