Mayawati finalising Lok Sabha candidates

May 22nd, 2008 - 5:15 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Lucknow, May 22 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has started announcing Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidates for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections while other parties struggle to contain the exodus of their elected members to her party. The BSP Wednesday evening announced the name of former legislator R.S. Kushwaha to contest the Lok Sabha election from Rae Bareli against Congress president and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

With this, Mayawati has finalised candidates for all but one of the eight Lok Sabha seats in the Lucknow division. The contestant for Hardoi seat is being discussed.

The BSP last week declared high-profile former central minister Akhilesh Das as its candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, represented by former prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) star Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Das, a former mayor of Lucknow and once considered close to the Congress leadership, quit the party early this month to join the BSP.

According to political sources, Varanasi Congress MP Rajesh Mishra is reportedly in touch with Mayawati and is likely to join the BSP.

Over half a dozen legislators and leaders from the Samajwadi Party and the BJP have also joined the BSP since Mayawati became chief minister in May 2007.

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