Jaipur: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is planning to contest on all 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan, which is going to polls on December 7. The party won three seats in the 2013-assembly elections by securing 3.37 per cent vote share, which was 7.60 per cent in the 2008-elections when the party had won six MLAs. “Our preparations are in full swing and we will contest on all 200 seats in the forthcoming elections,” state party vice-president Dungarram Gedar said.
In the last assembly elections, the party had contested in 195 constituencies. He informed that the tickets will be finalised soon and BSP chief Mayawati will hold rallies in the state. “We are expecting to increase our tally in the 2018-elections because people are unhappy with both the BJP and the Congress. There is a resentment against the ruling BJP and people are not seeing any hope in the Congress,” another BSP leader Bhagwan Singh said. He informed that the party chief will hold rallies in different parts of the state during elections.
Districts in eastern Rajasthan like Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Sawaimadhopur, Alwar and in northern parts like Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Bikaner has a significant number of Scheduled Castes (SC) population, which is the vote bank of the party. In the state, there are 34 SC and 25 ST seats out of the total 200 seats. “The BSP is contesting solo and the Congress is going to suffer a loss,” he said on Mayawati’s recent announcement of not having an lliance with the Congress for contesting assembly polls in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The party is contesting assembly elections in the state since 1990, but it registered its first victory in 1998 by winning two seats. In 1998, the party had fielded 108 candidates and secured 2.17 per cent vote share. In 2003 elections, the BSP fought in 124 constituencies and won two seats and increased its vote share to 3.98 per cent. The biggest victory of the party in the state was in the 2008-elections when six of the party’s candidates won elections and the vote share increased to 7.60 per cent. However, that victory was short-lived as all the six BSP MLAs joined the Congress and supported the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government.