Lucknow: In a bid to counter the anti-incumbency factor, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has adopted a ‘new look’ strategy to portray a clean image alongwith its time tested social engineering. Taking a cue from the 2007 elections, the BSP has decided to stick to its Dalit and Most Backward vote bank clubbed with Muslim and Brahmin votes to stay in power in the state.

With a strategy to contest upcoming elections with new faces, the party has denied tickets to 110 sitting MLA’s of its 206 MLA’s including more than dozen ministers. The party also replaced 50 candidates who fared badly in the previous assembly election.

Releasing the list of 403 candidates on her 56th birthday at the party headquarters, Mayawati signaled a slightly different social engineering. To counter the Congress’ Minority reservation plank, BSP has fielded two dozen more Muslim candidates in the upcoming elections. In 2007, BSP had fielded 61 Muslim candidates while this time the number has been increased to 85.

The number of backward candidates has also been increased from 110 to 113 whereas the number of upper caste candidates has been decreased in the upcoming elections. Only 117 upper caste candidates are fielded as against 139 in the 2007 elections. The number of both Brahmin and Thakur candidates are decreased in these elections.

In 2007 elections, BSP fielded 86 Brahmin candidates whereas only 74 Brahmin candidates get the party berth in the upcoming elections. Similarly, only 33 Thakur candidates got party tickets as compared to 38 in 2007 elections.

(JPN/ Bureau)