Mayawati launches poll campaign in Himachal

April 2nd, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Una (Himachal Pradesh), April 2 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati Thursday charged both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with misleading the people, as she launched her party’s Lok Sabha election campaign in Himachal Pradesh.
Addressing a rally in this Himachal Pradesh town, she said her party was for the welfare of all sections of society.

“Since Independence, the Congress and the BJP fooled the people with empty promises. If our party comes to power (at the centre), it would work for the welfare of ‘Sarv Samaj’ (entire society). We don’t believe in vote-bank politics based on religion and caste,” she said, adding that the BSP had given representation to all communities.

“Our party will work for the welfare of all sections of society by ending discrimination against the lower castes, the poor among the upper castes and the minority communities,” she said.

The BSP chief said her party had no pre-poll alliance with any political party in the hill state.

“Our party has no pre-poll alliance with any political party (in the state). We would contest on all the four (Lok Sabha) seats alone,” she said, announcing the names of the party candidates for these seats.

Mangat Ram Sharma is the candidate from the Hamirpur seat, Narinder Singh Pathania from Kangra, Lala Ram Sharma from Mandi and Som Nath from Shimla (Reserved).

The BSP has not been able to make its presence felt in Himachal Pradesh despite having fielded candidates on all the 68 state assembly elections in 2007. It could win just one seat in Kangra.

Vijay Singh Mankotia, a Congress rebel who led the party during the assembly elections, had already announced his retirement from active politics.

Mankotia, a former legislator from Kangra, joined the BSP in July 2007 after he was suspended from the Congress for criticising state leaders and the party high command.

Sources in the BSP said the party is facing leadership crisis in the state after the exit of Mankotia.

Himachal Pradesh has a good number of the Scheduled Castes (1,721,657), the Scheduled Tribes (274,288) and other backward classes voters, but the BSP has so far failed to make inroads in the state.

The state, which has a total of 4,541,072 voters, will go to the polls May 13.

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