Mayawati says BSP will fight MP elections alone, in Chhattisgarh she ties up with Ajit Jogi

PTI Bhopal/ Lucknow Sep 20, 2018, 10.36 PM(IST)

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

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The Congress had said it had wanted to join hands with the BSP in MP. In Chhattisgarh, Mayawati said Ajit Jogi would be their chief ministerial candidate. 

Dealing a blow to the Congress's plans to sew up an alliance, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday announced 22 candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections and said it will contest all 230 seats.

The list includes three sitting MLAs.

State Congress president Kamal Nath had said earlier that his party wants to join hands with like-minded parties such as the BSP for taking on the ruling BJP.

Nath had also met BSP supremo Mayawati on July 15.

However, the BSP said Thursday that it will contest all 230 Assembly seats on its own in the state where elections are due by year-end.

A Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity that his party still has hopes that an alliance with the BSP will materialise.

"They have announced only 22 candidates, including three sitting MLAs, for the seats where their position is strong. It is just a move to scare us and get a better seat sharing deal," he said.

"We had offered them 15-16 seats but they wanted more," he said.

However, BSP's Madhya Pradesh in-charge Ram Achal Rajbhar said his party will contest all 230 seats.

The list of candidates released by Rajbhar includes three out of the party's four sitting MLAs: Sheela Tyagi (Mangawa seat), Usha Choudhary (Raigaon) and Satyaprakash Sakwar (Ambah).

The name of a fourth BSP MLA, Balveer Singh Dandotia who represents Dimni in Morena district, does not figure in the list. BSP sources said he wants to contest from the Morena Assembly seat this time.

The list also names candidates for Assembly seats in Datia, Bhind, Shivpuri, Ashoknagar, Chhattarpur, Damoh, Singrauli, Sidhi, Shahdol, Umaria, Katni and Jabalpur districts. 

Alliance with Ajit Jogi
In another setback to the Congress, BSP supremo Mayawati today announced an alliance with Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) for Chhattisgarh elections and declared him the chief ministerial candidate.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will contest 35 seats and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh 55 in the 90-member Assembly. 

"We have decided to forge an alliance with the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh. Ajit Jogi will be the chief ministerial candidate," Mayawati said at a press conference here.

"My views on alliance with other parties are clear. We will go for an alliance if our party gets a respectable number of seats and if the ideologies match," she said.

Mayawati said the BSP and the JCC will soon launch a joint election campaign and a plan for conducting rallies will be finalised soon.

Replying to a question, she said, "Both the parties are capable of stopping the BJP in the state. If some other regional parties want to join us, we will take their help."

She alleged that the BJP government in Chhattisgarh did nothing for the state in the past 15 years and that a "strong regional representation" was necessary to ensure that it is not neglected.

In Chhattisgarh, the Dalit population plays an important role in determining election results in regions such as Janjgir-Champa, Raigarh and Bastar. PTI