Uttar Pradesh politician Mayawati said today that she would not contest the April-May national election and that she would rather campaign for the candidates of her BSP and that of ally Samajwadi Party.
"I won't contest polls. I am confident that my party will completely understand my decision. Our coalition is doing well. I can vacate a seat and contest later if I wish," the former chief minister told reporters in Lucknow.
The BSP or Bahujan Samaj Party has teamed up with its bitter rival Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav to take on the BJP in Uttar Pradesh in the national polls from April 11 to May 19.
The four-time Chief Minister has been in parliament several times. She was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1994.
The 63-year-old was widely expected to opt out of the contest. Both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had made it clear that they would focus on the campaign and ensuring maximum wins for their gathbandhan.
Mayawati, considered a Dalit powerhouse, had a miserable outing in the 2014 election when her party failed to win a single seat in the 80-seat state.
The BSP, however, won nearly 20 per cent of the votes in Uttar Pradesh and was number three in most seats.
The BSP-Samajwadi alliance has proved to be a winner in significant by-polls last year and is tipped to perform well in the upcoming polls. The only spoiler could be a division of opposition votes because of the Congress, which had launched Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in its UP campaign.