Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati not to contest Lok Sabha polls

PTI

File photo of BSP Chief Mayawati addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh.

File photo of BSP Chief Mayawati addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati Wednesday announced that she will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, but kept open the option of fighting a parliamentary by-election later.

“In view of the present circumstances and the need of the country and the interests of the party, the movement and the public, it is the need of the hour that I do not contest the Lok Sabha polls. And this is the reason that I have decided not to contest the Lok Sabha polls,” Mayawati said here.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister asked party workers to not get disheartened with her decision.

“When I became UP Chief Minister first time in 1995, I was not a member of either UP assembly or council. Similarly is the provision at the Centre where a person have to be a Loksabha/Rajya Sabha member within six months of holding office of minister/prime minister. Don’t get disheartened from my decision of not to contest LS poll now,” she clarified in her tweet.

The Dalit leader added it would not be a problem if there is a need for her to enter Parliament later.

“If it so happens that I have to get elected to the Lok Sabha later, I can contest from any seat by getting it vacated and become an MP. I will not face any problem,” she said.

Mayawati claimed that all she has to do is to go and file nomination papers and her party workers will ensure her victory.

The BSP chief suggested that if she contests, the party workers will focus on her seat even if she forbids them, affecting the campaign in other constituencies.

“Hence, winning each and every Lok Sabha seat is more important than my personal victory,” she added.

The BSP, Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal have entered into an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the April-May Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress is not part of this pact, but the alliance has said it will not field candidates in Amethi and Raebareli, the two seats that are now with Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi respectively.

The Congress, in turn, said it will leave seven UP seats for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance, an offer that was spurned by Mayawati.

(PTI)