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BSP to Fight Civic Polls on Party Symbol to Regain Lost Ground in UP

Party sources said that after the defeat in the assembly election earlier this year, Mayawati has made the civic body elections a prestige issue.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | CNN-News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:October 13, 2017, 12:29 PM IST
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BSP to Fight Civic Polls on Party Symbol to Regain Lost Ground in UP
Mayawati said fighting on the party symbol would improve BSP's presence on the ground level. (File image: PTI)
Lucknow: In a major shift in electoral strategy, the Bahujan Samaj Party will contest the upcoming civic polls in the state on its own party symbol after a gap of nearly 17 years.

The decision, along with several other organisational changes, are an attempt by party supremo Mayawati to regain lost ground in Uttar Pradesh after the drubbing at the hands of the BJP in the assembly elections earlier this year.

Fourteen municipal corporations and 900 other local bodies of the state will go to polls before July next year and will present the first challenge for the BSP after its debacle in the assembly polls.

Party sources said that after the defeat, Mayawati has made the civic body elections a prestige issue. The decision to contest on the BSP symbol stems from the confidence that its presence would help mobilise the cadre, improve performance and prevent any further loss of vote share.

When asked why the party did not contest on its symbol earlier, a party leader said it had so far avoided distributing tickets as it feared that favouring one contender over the other could lead to alienation.

This time, however, ticket distribution will be done very carefully and priority will be given to candidates who have been associated with the party for quite some time, the leader said.

As a part of changed strategy, the responsibilities of the party’s big leaders are also being increased. Satish Mishra has been brought into the main organization but will continue his role in the Bhai Chara Committee.

“We need to show that we are very much present on the ground. This can be proved if we contest municipal polls on party symbol. This will also give us an opportunity to make a self-assessment about our strengths,” Mayawati was quoted as saying at a recent meeting with senior party leaders.

The BSP has also adopted an aggressive approach on social media in line with its new strategy and has made several groups and fan pages that support the party’s ideology in a bid to improve outreach.
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