The Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday announced that her party will contest the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections in an alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Samaj Party, PTI reported. The parties have endorsed RLSP President Upendra Kushwaha as their chief ministerial candidate.

Mayawati said the objective of this alliance would be to provide equal rights and political representation to Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, upper castes and the marginalised sections of society. “This new alliance aims to free people of Bihar from the problems of unemployment, poverty and floods,” she said, according to ANI. “I appeal to the people of Bihar to give a chance to this alliance.”

She said that none of the governments formed in Bihar so far have worked for the welfare of the poor and Dalits. “As election approached, Centre and Bihar government which were sleeping for the past five years have showered announcements but people understand everything,” she added. “This time they [people] will not come under the influence of anyone.”

Mayawati also spoke about the need for a government that follows the principle of “Sarvjan Hitay, Sarvajan Sukhay [government for everyone’s interest and welfare]”.

The BSP, however, has a limited electoral presence in the state. The party had managed to get only 2.07% votes in the last Assembly elections but has some presence in areas like Sasaram, Buxar and Aurangabad, according to The Indian Express. The party had finished a close second in one seat but managed to poll between 10,000 to 20,000 votes in as many as 12 seats.

Elections in Bihar will be held in three phases between October 28 and November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10. This is the first election to be held in the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bihar Assembly has 243 seats, 38 of which are reserved for Scheduled Castes and two for Scheduled Tribes. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who leads a coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party, will fight for a fourth term. The Rashtriya Janata Dal, led by jailed politician Lalu Prasad Yadav, and the Congress are the other main contenders.