New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati said on Wednesday that she would not be contesting the coming Lok Sabha polls. However, she clarified soon afterwards that this does not mean she cannot enter Parliament through the byelection route later, thus keeping open the question of her being a contender for the prime ministership should a larger Opposition alliance get the requisite numbers.
At a press conference in Lucknow, Ms Mayawati said: âIn view of the present circumstances and the need of the country and the interests of the party, the movement and the public, it is the need of the hour that I do not contest the Lok Sabha polls. This is the reason I have decided not to contest the Lok Sabha polls.â
However, she clarified shortly afterwards: âWhen I became UP CM first time in 1995 I was not a member of either the UP Assembly or the Council. Similarly, there is a provision at the Centre where a person has to become a Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha member within six months of holding office as minister or Prime Minister. Donât get disheartened over my decision not to contest the Lok Sabha polls now.â
She claimed that all she has to do is to go and file her nomination papers, and her party workers will ensure her victory. The reason given by the BSP chief for not contesting was that if she contests, her party workers will focus only on her seat even if she forbids them, and thus affect the campaign in other constituencies. âHence, winning each and every Lok Sabha seat is more important than my personal victory,â the BSP chief said.
The BSP, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal have entered into an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the April-May Lok Sabha polls. The Congress is not part of this pact, but the alliance has said it will not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the two seats that are now held by Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.