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I will not contest: Mayawati drops out of 2019 Lok Sabha polls

File photo of BSP chief Mayawati. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 20, 2019, 12.51 PM (IST)

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said Wednesday that she will not contest the Lok Sabha elections. 

Mayawati is the latest addition to a quickly growing list of party supremos and high-profile leaders who have opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

The list includes India's Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, who was the first to say she would not be contesting the polls. 

NCP chief Sharad Pawar followed her, and now of course there's Mayawati. 

The BSP supremo said Wednesday that she had resigned from the Rajya Sabha to devote herself to the party, and that she would like to do the same thing again. 

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WION's Political Editor Kartikeya Sharma quoted party insiders as saying Mayawati was opting out of the elections because she did not want to be tied down to one constituency but would instead like to concentrate on campaigning for the party. She is expected to campaign outside of her bastion of Uttar Pradesh. 

Sharma added that Mayawati also wanted to keep open the option of contesting the 2022 assembly elections. 

Having said that, there is also the fact that Mayawati has ceded at least some space to new Dalit leaders like the Bhim Army's Chandrashekhar Azad and Jignesh Mewani. And should her victory margins now be less than impressive, that will further bring down her stature. 

Story highlights

Mayawati is the latest addition to a quickly growing list of party supremos and high-profile leaders who have opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. They include Sushma Swaraj and Sharad Pawar.