Lucknow: Mayawati government on Wednesday issued a notification banning all political parties from contesting municipal elections in the state.
The notification which has created an uproar in political circles, says that leaders will not be prohibited from fighting municipal elections, but they cannot do so under party banner.
Clearly seen as an attempt to prevent political parties from assessing their strength and weaknesses in the local elections, Maya has also shrewdly announced that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will not contest any more by-elections for now - her party triumphed in the Domariyaganj assembly bypoll - as she wants to focus on the Uttar Pradesh polls in 2012.
Significantly, the announcement comes at a time when two by-elections in Etah and Lakhimpur-Kheri are in the pipeline, following the death of the Samajwadi Party (SP) incumbents.
Earlier, she had kept her party away from local bodies elections and concentrated on the 2007 assembly polls, with the result that her party came to power on its own strength in the state.
Referring to the party`s failure to do really well in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when the party won only 20 seats in the state, Mayawati said: "After that, the opposition started writing off the BSP, but I am sure they have now seen what we are capable of."
Evidently, the key parties she is targeting are the SP and Congress. However, the result of the Domariyaganj by-election has prompted her to alert her party men against the BJP, which had surprisingly done far better than the other two rival parties.