Mayawati drops nearly half of sitting MLAs

Mayawati drops nearly half of sitting MLAs Lucknow: Under attack from opposition parties over the corruption issue and to present a clean image before voters, the BSP has denied tickets to nearly half of its sitting MLAs for the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

"The party has dropped around 100 sitting MLAs, including ministers, from its list of candidates released by party supremo Mayawati yesterday," a senior party functionary said.

An indication that several sitting MLAs may not get tickets became visible around two months back when Mayawati launched the cleansing drive showing the door to several ministers and members of the Assembly.

Interestingly, majority of the ministers and MLAs, shown door by the BSP supremo, were those who joined the party before or after 2007 Assembly elections.

Prominent ministers who were shown the door by Mayawati include Avadhpal Singh, Badshah Singh, Fateh Bahadur Singh, Yashpal Singh and Ratan Lal Ahirwar.

Mayawati had yesterday said that while selecting candidates attention was given that they have a clean image, were dedicated towards the BSP movement and give attention to development in their respective areas.

"Special attention was given as in last Assembly elections a number of wrong people from other parties managed to get ticket of our party," she said.

Mayawati said that after winning elections such people instead of giving attention towards development of area and interest of people, got involved in wrong activities out of personal interest and made all efforts to malign the image of the party and the government.

"Such people also spoilt the old cadre of the party, due to which stern action has to be taken against such ministers and MLAs. Due to this reason they were also denied ticket," she said.

Mayawati said that the party was of the view that the movement could not progress in the right direction by keeping such MLAs and ministers.

"This time giving priority to the movement, tickets have been given accordingly so that after winning elections candidates should give priority to development of their respective areas and interests of the people," she said.

"To present a clean image before the electorates during polls, the party this time has decided to opt for fresh faces, preferring those who had been associated with the movement from longtime," he said.

However, some of the tainted ministers have been retained by the party.

For instance, the party has fielded Rajesh Tripathi and Rangnath Mishra, who were removed from their posts after being indicted by Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta.

In 2007 elections, BSP fielded 86 Brahmins, 61 Muslims, 89 dalits, 120 OBCs and 47 others. Of this 42 Brahmins, 29 Muslims, 59 dalits, 55 OBCs and 16 others made to the Assembly.

This time also the party has repeated the formula by accommodating all sections of the society in its list of candidates.

"Tickets have been given to 88 SC candidates, 113 OBC, 85 religious minorities, specially Muslims, 117 upper caste, of which 74 are Brahmins and 33 Chattriyas," Mayawati had said yesterday.