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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Mayawati bets big on Muslims, fields 20 contenders in Uttar Pradesh

The party is seeking to make a determined bid to reach out to the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim vote base, especially in seats that have 20 per cent or more Muslim electors.
Last Updated : 10 May 2024, 22:00 IST
Last Updated : 10 May 2024, 22:00 IST

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New Delhi: By allocating 25 per cent of the total seats to the minorities in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party has put its bets on the Dalit-Muslim combination for its revival in the state which sends the highest number of MPs to the lower house of parliament.

With the announcement of candidates for Kushinagar and Deoria on Thursday, the BSP has fielded candidates in 79 out of 80 seats in the state.

The nomination of the party’s candidate in Barailly was canceled due to an error in the nomination papers.

In terms of the social breakup of its candidate list, BSP has fielded 20 minorities, 23 OBC, 18 upper caste, and 17 Dalits in reserved seats.

The party is seeking to make a determined bid to reach out to the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim vote base, especially in seats that have 20 per cent or more Muslim electors.

This is in sharp contrast to SP’s strategy to field a lesser number of Muslims and Yadavs to expand its reach outside the traditional catchment area among Muslims and Yadavs.

As compared to 20 tickets given to the minorities by the BSP, Akhilesh Yadav has nominated only 4 Muslim candidates in this Lok Sabha polls. SP has given tickets to 5 Yadav candidates, including Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple, who are from party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s immediate family.

Interestingly, BSP changed its candidates in almost a dozen constituencies. In the Jaunpur Lok Sabha seat, the party replaced former MP Dhananjay Singh’s wife Srikala Singh with the sitting MP Shyam Singh Yadav just a day ahead of the deadline for the filing of nomination paper was to end.

Mayawati’s flip-flops in the ongoing polls have not just been limited to candidate selections. Earlier this week, the party supremo demoted and benched her nephew Akash Anand from the post of national coordinator and her political heir.

BSP’s forte in UP politics has been its ability to transfer core Dalit votes to its candidates from any community contesting on its symbol. In the 2004 LS elections, Mayawati succeeded in sending as many Yadav MPs to parliament from UP as Mulayam Singh by fielding local strongmen from the community.

However, in the last decade, this ability has been severely dented with the party’s graph plummeting in both LS and assembly polls.

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Published 10 May 2024, 22:00 IST

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