The Bahujan Samaj Party announced the names of 100 of its candidates for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on Thursday. Party chief Mayawati told reporters that 36 of the BSP’s 100 candidates were Muslim, a declaration that gains importance given that the community comprises 20% of the state’s population, PTI reported.
A statement by the party said the names of the remaining candidates had been shortlisted and would be released soon. Of the 403 seats in the state, Mayawati said 87 Dalit candidates would get a BSP ticket, while 97 party nominations had been allotted to Muslim party members and 106 to persons from other backward castes. The 113 remaining seats will be alloted to Brahmins (66), Kshatriyas (36) and 11 tickets to candidates from the Kayasthas, Vaishyas and Punjabis community, she said.
The recent feud within the ruling Samajwadi Party may weaken its popularity among the Muslim community, which is considered to be its traditional vote bank, PTI reported. Mayawati urged voters not to “waste their votes on the Samajwadi Party”, which she said was troubled by infighting. She urged Muslim voters to support her party “to stop the Saffron [Bharatiya Janata Party]” from gaining control in the state.
She also rejected allegations that claimed her party was casteist and said the BSP has “worked in the interests of people from all castes”.