Two Dalits in BSP list of 3 for Council seat contenders

The main opposition party, BSP, on Wednesday announced the names of its three candidates for the Legislative Council elections ending weeks of speculations.

The three candidates are Vijay Pratap, Sunil Chitor and Thakur Jaiveer Singh. While Vijay and Sunil, whose terms end as Legislative Council member ends on May 5, are BSP coordinators, Thakur Jaiveer Singh was a minister in the previous Mayawati government.

BSP president Mayawati announced the names at a meeting of her party MLAs. The election would be held on April 26.

Earlier, BSP was expected to field former speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar, who lost the Assembly polls from Deedarganj seat in Azamgarh district.

"Mayawati wants to keep her Dalit vote bank intact and its not an easy task after her party's exit from power in the state. So, she fielded two Dalit candidates, who are powerful coordinators, in order to send out a positive message among her Dalit supporters," a source explained.

While both Dalit candidates are assured of victory, third candidate Thakur Jaiveer Singh will have to arrange additional votes of seven MLAs for his victory on his own. The party requires support of a total 87 MLAs for the victory of its three candidates, but it has a strength of 80.

Mayawati told her MLAs that the party would continue to struggle to ensure justice to the poor, Dalits and OBCs at all levels. She asked her MLAs not to break the discipline and maintain a distance from the media. The MLAs should first approach the officials regarding problems of the people and, if their complaints are not heard, the option of moving courts was always available.

Sources said Mayawati is planning to hold a big rally in Agra later this month.

"She wants to celebrate Baba Saheb's birth anniversary in a big way this year," a source in the BSP said. Baba Saheb's birth anniversary falls on the April 14.

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