Uma, Maya not major factor in MP, BJP

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) Discounting the possibility of Bharatiya Janshakti leader Uma Bharti and BSP supremo Mayawati emerging as a major factor during the coming Assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said there were only two major players--BJP and Congress-- in the state politics.

''I avoid taking the name of any person. But in Madhya Pradesh, politics is polarised and the voters decide between two parties- the BJP and the Congress,'' Mr Chouhan told UNI journalists at the News Agency headquarters here when asked whether the Bhartiya Janshakti Party would cut into the vote of BJP during the Assembly elections.

He said any leader, howsoever big, derives power from the party and not vice versa. According to Mr Chouhan, the party activists were with Ms Bharti when she owed allegiance to BJP. But once they realised that person was no longer with the party, they work for the party leader.

Mr Chouhan also said the influence of BSP in Madhya Pradesh politics was limited. The BSP vote share in Madhya Pradesh polls fluctuated between five to eight percent, he said and added that whenever Mayawati comes to power in Uttar Pradesh, BSP influence increases in Madhya Pradesh's areas bordering UP. However, the BSP had till now gained a maximum of eight seats in MP and he saw no drastic change in the situation even if the BSP joined hands with Uma Bharti's party.

About the Chief Ministerial candidate of BJP, Mr Chouhan said there was no confusion in BJP on that as all the leaders have taken his name only for the post. It was for the Congress to clarify it.

The Chief Minister said all the ground work for selection of candidates have been done and as soon as the election was announced the party would declare the list. He said the selection would be done on the basis of feedback received from both the party activists and people of the region.

Mr Chouhan, who has taken a number of steps for women empowerment during his two-and-a-half-year long regime, said more women would be fielded as candidates during this time. However, he refused to commit to reserve 33% seats for women candidates in the party.

UNI AJ RP HT1810

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