Mission Delhi: Maya names candidates for LS polls
Lucknow: Humbled in the Uttar Pradesh elections, the
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fast-tracked preparations for the general elections due in 2014.
And keeping in line with the 'prediction' of party chief Mayawati that these polls would be held sooner than scheduled, the BSP has finalized the names of more than 35 Lok Sabha probables.
In the first phase, the party has named six candidates.
The announcement was done by Mayawati confidant and Rajya Sabha MP Munqad Ali in Amroha.
Exhorting the party cadres, workers and supporters to work for the Lok Sabha battle "from now", Munqad Ali said that 'behenji' - as Mayawati is widely addressed - "almost finalized the complete list" of all the 80 candidates in Uttar Pradesh.
He said the names would be announced in a phased manner "but very soon".
"We have announced candidates for Nagina, Amroha, Bijnor, Meerut, Moradabad and Sambhal and for the remaining seats we have other names in mind," he said.
According to him, the former UP chief minister has been brainstorming on the list of probables ever since she came to New Delhi after her party received a drubbing at the hands of Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP).
"A detailed analysis of the poll outcome has been done at the highest level and the party is seriously mulling a major strategy to recapture its vote bank," another party MP said.
Though the BSP, which won a majority in the 403-member state Assembly in 2007, was routed in this election, it more or less retained its Dalit vote bank and finished as the main opposition party, pushing national parties BJP and Congress far behind.
And even after losing, a confident Mayawati vowed to bounce back.
The BSP supremo has already dissolved all party wings and has been working overtime to name new party coordinators.
Informed sources say that both her closest aides - Satish Chandra Mishra and Naseemuddin Siddiqui - have lost their "pre-UP poll advantage" and the party chief is now relying more on old timers and trusted party workers.
Her favourite bureaucrats, including then cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, have been kept out of party matters.
The Dalit leader has already signalled that old party hands would be used extensively for preparatory work in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
A team of young tech-savvy Dalits has been reportedly put in place to work on the "initial goof ups" of the Akhilesh Yadav government and to collect data on attacks against Dalits in the state since the SP took over.
Close aides say the BSP leader had also instructed its Muslim leaders to get back to the roots and work on the Muslim vote bank, which drifted away from the BSP in the Assembly elections.
Names of most Lok Sabha probables, either formally or informally, a source said, are likely to be announced around April 14, the birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Mayawati's Dalit ideal.