Mayawati's BSP sets foot on Naga soil

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Kohima, Nov 15 (UNI) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today made its foray into the North East for the first time with the launching of the party in Nagaland, which will be going to polls early next year.

With the formation of a 40-member BSP Executive Committee, Nagaland became the first state in the NE to have the party, sources said.

The Nagaland unit of the BSP comprised Nchemong Odyuo as president and K Mhonchumo Lotha as General Secretary.

BSP national General Secretary and NE in-charge Dr Suresh Mane said a party meeting, led by its president Mayawati held in New Delhi last month, had decided to launch party units in all the NE states.

He also said the BSP, a party of ''Dalits and tribals'', would be fielding about 25 to 40 candidates in the forthcoming Nagaland Assembly Elections.

He said the party would focus on unification of socially fragmented and bifurcated sections of people in the state to bring about ''politics of change''.

''The BSP is basically a movement of social and economic change and transformative politics, not concerned with power and money,'' he claimed.

Meanwhile, though the election dates had not yet been announced, nor the election code of conduct imposed, election fever gripped political parties in the state as they were gearing up for the forthcoming general elections, expected in February 2008.

According to reports, the two major political rivals in the state - the Congress and NPF - would be fielding candidates in all the 60 Assembly seats.

The BJP was also expected to field around 40 candidates, while other political parties, including the UNDP, NCP, Janata Dal (U), Janata Dal (S), RJD, Republican Labour Party (RLP) and Nagaland Democratic Party (NDP) might field about 15 to 20 candidates each.

The Congress was reported to have received 107 applications from ticket aspirants while the NPF also received a number of applications from ticket-aspirants.

Similarly, the BJP received 45 applications from aspirants.

All the parties were in the process of finalising the names of their candidates.

The NPF was expected to announce the names during the party's forthcoming convention to be held at Dimapur by November end while the Congress was likely to declare the names only after the annual convention of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) scheduled on November 17 at New Delhi.

UNI

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