Ahmedabad | The Bahujan Samaj Party, which has not got much electoral success in Gujarat, is planning to contest all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Party chief Mayawati will address a rally here on April 17 and functionaries in the state are upbeat that it would give front line parties like the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress a tough fight. All 26 Gujarat Lok Sabha seats, currently held by the BJP, will go to polls on April 23. In 2014, the BSP fielded candidates on 26 seats but all of them lost.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, it fielded candidates in 138 out of 182 seats, but failed to open its account despite Mayawati addressing rallies in Vadodara and Rajkot. In 2017, the party managed to poll 2.02 lakh votes and garner a poll share of 0.6 percent.
“The BSP will fight all seats on its own. Mayawati ji will address a rally in Ahmedabad on April 17. We have a large support base in Gujarat and we had recently won the civic polls in Chhotaudepur as well as several district and taluka seats over the last few years,” an upbeat Gujarat BSP president Ashok Chavda said.
The BSP has over one lakh registered workers in Gujarat, party leaders claimed. Gujarat BSP secretary Pradeep Parmar said booth level work as well as door-to-door campaign had started in all 26 seats.
“Many people are not aware that it was the BSP which had floated the concept of booth level management. A sector committee looks after 10 booths. Above that, we have ward level, seat level and district level committees and finally the state leadership,” said Parmar.
He also said the party was wrongly perceived as a Dalit-centric party, and claimed it worked for the betterment of all downtrodden sections of society. “The BSP had given tickets to Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh earlier. We will give tickets to non-Dalit candidates in Gujarat too for this election,” said Parmar.
The state, as per a rough estimate, has 45 lakh Dalits and 55 lakh Muslims, though the concentration is scattered across all 26 Lok Sabha seats. He said people wanted to see Mayawati as the next Prime Minister and this would translate into votes for the party. He said names of the two to three probable candidates have been finalised for each seat and they would be sent to the central leadership for approval.