BSP finds K'taka poll results 'encouraging' with around 5 pc votes

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New Delhi, May 26 (UNI) The Karnataka elections results may be a disappointment for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a party primarily representing dalits, as it failed to open its account.

The party was aiming to win at least half a dozen seats with party supremo Mayawati camping in the state and pooling all her might in the Assembly elections in a bid to create a pan-India base for the party.

However, the BSP described the results as '' very encouraging'' pointing out that it had increased its percentage of votes, and asserting that winning seats was not the main objective.

''We have performed well in a large number of constituencies, and increased our vote percentage to around 5 per cent, though exact percentage was yet to be estimated by the Election Commission. These results would help us in the coming Lok Sabha elections,'' BSP coordinator for Karnataka Veer Singh today said while talking to UNI over phone from Bangalore.

''In fact these elections were just a preparation for our party to expand its base to other parts of the country,'' party treasurer Ambed Rajan also said.

In the 2004 elections, the BSP had got only 1.02 per cent votes.

So even though it could not win a single seat, the party had performed well by increasing its votes by around 4 per cent in this election, he said.

Mr Veer Singh said according to preliminary analysis of results, the party had come on the third position in at least 20 constituencies and second in about five constituencies.

He said the party in strengthening its policy of serving the 'sarva Samaj'(All) had given representation to all the 31 castes in the state while distributing tickets.

The Lingayats were given 22 seats, Vokkaligas 18, Brahmins nine while Muslims were fielded from 29 constituencies.

Mr Singh said though Assembly elections were the first after delimitation, it did not make any material difference to the party.

In the last elections held in 2004, there were only 35 constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, while in this election the number of reserved seats increased to 51.

The BSP had harmed Congress on 30 seats in the 2004 polls.

However, It was yet to estimate on how many seats, it played a spoil sport for the ruling party at the Centre.

However, Mr Singh said, '' We do not contest elections to harm any party. That's only a Congress thinking. We participate in the elections to strengthen our party.'' The BSP had contested on 218 out of the total 224 seats. The BJP secured 110 seats, the Congress 80 while the Janata Dal managed to win only 28 seats. The Independents got six seats.

Besides, the BSP, the SP and the JD(U) also failed to win any seat.

Karnataka has a sizeable number of dalits who, as per the 2001 census, form 16.02 per cent of the state's population.

Political observers were keenly watching the Assembly poll results in order to see how the 'social engineering' of Uttar Pradesh, in which the party for the first time gave a large number of tickets to upper castes to expand its base, worked in the southern state, and how close is the party from acquiring a pan-India dimension.

Party supremo and Uttra Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati makes no bones about her next objective to reach the seat of power at Delhi.

UNI NAZ BDP BST1634

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