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Mayawati won't contest UP Assembly polls
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
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Uttar Pradesh Elections 2007
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March 13, 2007 14:11 IST
Last Updated: March 13, 2007 16:36 IST

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati will keep out of the poll fray in the forthcoming state Assembly poll spread over the months of April and May in Uttar Pradesh.

Instead, she will seek a bypoll after getting a seat vacated by one of her party's elected men.

Disclosing this at a press conference in Lucknow on Tuesday, Mayawati said, "I wish to keep myself free to campaign throughout the state and at the same time to prevent other party activists from getting distracted; therefore I have decided not to contest the election this time."

"I will seek a bypoll after the main poll is over; after all any of my party MLAs would happily vacate a seat for me," she added.

Meanwhile, declaring her party candidates for each of the 403 Assembly seats in the state, Mayawati also ruled out the possibility of pre-poll alliance with any other political  party. She, however, declined to make any comment on speculations about her party's strategic post-poll deals with other parties.

Significantly, the party which was better known as the key representatives of socially downtrodden and outcaste Dalits, has given the lion's share of tickets to Hindu upper caste candidates.

Making no bones about allocating the seats essentially on the basis of caste configuration of different constituencies, Mayawati said, "Well, as many as 139 of the BSP nominees were drawn from the upper castes, including 86 Brahmins and 38 Thakurs," she said.

Surprisingly, the number of Dalit nominees were only 93 while 110 candidates belonged to socially backward castes.

"We have given 61 tickets to Muslims as well and we are confident of getting Muslim support in several Muslim dominated pockets," she asserted.

Clearly, she was working on mustering up a combination of Dalit and Brahmin votes. According to the party's own records, the number of Brahmin candidates had witnessed a sharp rise from 37 in the 2002 election to 86 now. The variation of other castes was only marginal.

Exuding confidence, Mayawati proclaimed a majority for her party. "We will form a government  on our own," she declared.

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