BSP’s first list for Chhattisgarh polls has no Muslims

June 17th, 2008 - 8:06 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Raipur, June 16 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Monday became the first party to announce candidates for the Chhattisgarh assembly polls, slated for November, but its first list of 50 names does not have a single Muslim. BSP state president Dauram Ratnakar told reporters that the second list of candidates would be announced by July-end once the party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati clears the list of probables sent by the state unit last month.

The first list has 18 candidates from Other Backward Classes (OBC), 16 from the general category including four Brahmins and four Thakurs, eight from the Scheduled Castes and eight from Scheduled Tribes.

Ratnakar said the party would try to accommodate “a few Muslim candidates” in the second list of the remaining 40 seats “if winning candidates were available”.

BSP won two assembly seats, both reserved for the Scheduled Castes, in the last assembly polls held in November 2003.

A court later announced as null and void the election of one of its candidates, Lalsai Khunte from Malkharoda.

The party’s lone sitting legislator, Kumari Kamda Jolhe, has been re-nominated from the Sarangarh constituency in the first list.

Ratnakar said the party was hoping to win about 25-30 seats in the state traditionally dominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power, and the Congress.

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