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BSP and ASP to contest all 10 upcoming Assembly bypolls in UP

Lucknow, June 28 2024-

In a move that is bound to further rattle the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Azad Samaj Party (ASP) led by Chandra Shekhar Aazad has announced that it will contest all the 10 upcoming bypolls to the state Assembly.

The BSP, which normally does not contest bypolls, has made an exception this time and has said that it will contest seats.

The BSP will field candidates on 10 seats, of which nine fell vacant after the election of sitting legislators to the Lok Sabha. And the Sisamau seat in Kanpur was declared vacant after the disqualification of sitting MLA Irfan Solanki who was sentenced by a court in a criminal case.

Mayawati has also made it clear that despite the LS poll debacle, the BSP will go solo in the bypolls as well.

Party coordinators have been asked to screen the candidates and send the list to the party office for approval. Party office-bearers have been asked to start preparations for the bypolls by organising meetings in the constituencies.

On the other hand, ASP chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad said that he had appointed in-charges on four Assembly seats — Khair (Aligarh), Meerapur (Muzaffarnagar), Kundarki (Moradabad) and Ghaziabad Sadar (Ghaziabad).

ASP state president Sunil Kumar Chittod said the party will hold meetings in Phulpur (Prayagraj), Manjhwa (Bhadohi), Katehri (Ambedkar Nagar), Milkipur (Ayodhya), Sisamau (Kanpur) and Karhal (Mainpuri). After this, the party will announce the names of in-charges for all remaining seats.

Chittod said, adding the bypolls will be an opportunity for the ASP to expand its footprint in other districts after bagging the Nagina seat in LS polls.

“Party workers are upbeat. We have also decided to contest the bypolls in nagar panchayats and nagar palika parishads in various districts also,” he said.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Chandra Shekhar Aazad secured victory defeating his nearest rival Om Kumar of the BJP. BSP candidate Surendra Pal Singh was pushed to the fourth position.

The shift of Dalit voters to the ASP left the BSP worried.

The Assembly bye-election will also set the stage for the show of strength for Akash Anand whom Mayawati reinstated on the key post of national coordinator earlier this week.

In the 2024 LS polls, Akash launched the party’s election campaign from Nagina to counter the influence of Chandra Shekhar Aazad. He addressed public meetings in Dalit-dominated constituencies across UP, and later, his rallies were postponed following the registration of FIR in a hate speech case in Sitapur on April 29.

On May 7, Mayawati removed him from the post of national coordinator and as her political successor.

After reinstating Akash on both the key posts, Mayawati told party leaders to support and encourage her nephew, adding that he should be given due respect on party platforms and party cadres should work in unison to ensure his success in politics.

With Chandra Shekar Aazad leading the ASP campaign, the fight for Dalit votes between both Dalit-based parties — BSP and ASP — will now intensify in Uttar Pradesh. (Agency)

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