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Rediff.com  » Election » Paswan plots to dent Maya's vote bank

Paswan plots to dent Maya's vote bank

March 23, 2009 11:10 IST

In a bid to expand its presence beyond the boundaries of Bihar and make a dent in Bahujan Samaj Party's traditional Dalit vote bank in Uttar Pradesh, the Ramvilas

Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party is likely to field 15 candidates in this state, which sends 80 MPs to the Parliament.

"The party has decided to field 15 candidates in the state and has already declared its candidates from five Lok Sabha constituencies," LJP spokesperson for UP, Rajkumar Ojha told PTI.

Asked if the party will go out all alone in the polls in UP, Ojha said, "The possibility of fighting the elections under the banner of National Dalit Front is not being ruled out and a decision on this will be taken soon. If the elections are contested under the banner of NDF, then we might fight on at least 20-30 seats in UP," the LJP leader said.

The NDF, led by Paswan, is a front formed in 2008 to make a dent on Mayawati's Dalit vote bank and it comprises the LJP, Indian Justice Parties (Udit Raj) and Republican Party of India (A) led by Ramdas Athavale.

Questioned on this decision to field candidates from constituencies in UP where the Congress and the SP has already fielded their candidates and if LJP's candidates would not eat into the UPA's vote share, Ojha said, "We are not targeting the SP or the Congress votes. Our main aim will be to eat into the vote share of BSP and ensure that this party and the BJP end on the losing side."

Indicating that the LJP will be supporting Congress candidates in UP where they do not field a candidate Oza said, "We will be supporting our UPA allies."

Regarding LJP's star campaigners for the elections, Ojha said, "Filmmaker Prakash Jha is already contesting on a LJP ticket from Bettiah in Bihar and he may rope in Bollywood dive Katrina Kaif and Ajay Devgan as star campaigners."

Announcing the candidates Ojha said, "Ravishankar Ojha (Jaunpur Sadar), J S Sachan (Kanpur Dehat), Preeti Mishra (Etah), Kundan (Khalilabad) and Ajeya Pratap Singh, son of former Prime Minister VP Singh will be contesting polls from Fatehpur."

Apart from these constituencies, the party may also field candidates from Robertsganj, Chandauli, Gorakhpur and some places in Western UP, another LJP leader said.

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