BSP supremo Mayawati
BSP supremo Mayawati
File Picture

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday decided to go it alone in the crucial bypolls to 24 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, which saw a change of guard two months ago following a political drama.

Of these 24 seats, 22 fell vacant after the resignation of Congress MLAs, while the death of sitting legislators has necessitated bypolls in the remaining two segments.

Schedule for the by-elections has not been announced yet.

State BSP president Ramakant Pippal on Thursday said party supremo Mayawati has decided to contest the assembly bypolls in Madhya Pradesh without any alliance.

"The party would contest these bypolls on its own strength," he said.

Pippal said the BSP, a marginal political force in the BJP-ruled state, will start inviting applications from ticket aspirants from next week.

Afterwards, names of shortlisted candidates would be sent to the BSP chief for further decision, he said.

The Dalit outfit has been working on the ground and preparing for these elections, Pippal said.

We are a strong force in the Gwalior-Chambal region.

In Gwalior, Bhind, Morena, Datia, Ashok Nagar and Shivpuri districts, the BSP had 13 MLAs at different times in the past, Pippal told PTI.

Most of the vacant assembly seats are in the Gwalior- Chambal region, where BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress in March, has considerable influence.

Pippal said, Our preparations are going on. But, the coronavirus-induced-lockdown has somewhat slowed down our preparations.

The state BSP chief said farm loan waiver, unemployment and issues related to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes would be main poll planks for his party.

At present, the BSP has two MLAs in MPs 230-member house.

Twenty-two seats fell vacant following the resignations of Congress MLAs, including six ministers in the erstwhile Kamal Nath government, from assembly membership.

These MLAs left the Congress along with former union minister Scindia in March.

Their resignations led to the collapse of the Nath- led Congress regime and subsequent formation of the BJP government headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The other two seats fell vacant earlier following the the death of Congress MLA from Joura, Banwarilal Sharma, and BJP legislator from Agar Malwa, Manohar Untwal.

With the effective strength of the Assembly at 206, the BJP currently has a majority with 107 MLAs.

The BJP will have to win at least nine of these 24 seats achieve a simple majority in the house.

The Congress's current strength is 92, while there are four Independent MLAs and one from the SP.

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Free Press Journal