Mayawati to test electoral fortunes in Haryana, Maha

Mayawati to test electoral fortunes in Haryana, Maha

After failing to open an account in the Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party is testing waters in Haryana and Maharashtra where Assembly elections are due later this year.

It has decided to go alone in Maharashtra despite an alliance offer by NCP and has projected a former Congress MP as its chief ministerial candidate in Haryana.

Mayawati said she has made it clear to Sharad Pawar that her party will go alone in the assembly elections due in four states in the coming months.

"The NCP leader (Pawar) did not talk to me directly. But he had to BSP's General Secretary Satish Misra. I had told Misra that there is no harm in talking. But I asked him to make it clear that BSP will have no alliance with Congress or NCP," Mayawati told a press conference here.

She said her party will have no electoral alliance with any party in the four states going for assembly polls.

The terms of the state assemblies of Haryana, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand are coming to an end between October this year and January, 2015.

The BSP chief also announced the entry of former Congress MP from Haryana Arvind Sharma into the party fold and said he would be projected as the chief ministerial candidate in the assembly elections.

"Most of the Chief Ministers of Haryana have been from the Jat community. They have often ignored the interests of other communities. At times people from other communities have also been exploited.

"Therefore, BSP has decided to project Sharma, a Brahmin, as its chief ministerial candidate in Haryana. If we come to power, we will follow our policy of Uttar Pradesh and work for the betterment of all communities," she said.

A three-time MP, Sharma had represented Karnal in the 15th Lok Sabha. He claimed that Congress had failed to protect the interests of various communities in Haryana, therefore, he decided to join BSP.

Responding to questions on repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Mayawati said she would want the central government to raise the issue with Islamabad in a "serious manner" to end violations which have also led to loss of civilian lives.

"Violations have been there when UPA was in power. They have continued after BJP took power. But for actual peace in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre should talk to Pakistan in a serious manner to end border violations," she said.

Responding to a question on reported invitation by the Pakistan High Commission here to separatist Kashmiri leaders for a talk, the BSP chief said it is "not a good sign".

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