BSP a force in Delhi, but would hurt Congress, not BJP: Malhotra

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) Conceding that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was indeed a ''big force'' in Delhi, BJP's chief ministerial candidate V K Malhotra today said it did not matter much to his party, as it would make a dent in Congress vote bank.

Denying any possiblity of a 'hung Assembly' or having to go for a tie-up with the BSP, Mr Malhotra told UNI, ''Ms Mayawati's party did make a big impact in the municipal elections by winning 17 seats and being number two in 32 seats, yet we are confident of winning by two-third majority.'' Admitting that BSP had put 'suitable candidates' keeping in mind 'vote banks' the BJP leader said it does have good candidates in the poll fray, with lots of wealth who were spending millions, but added that, ''I don't think they would make any dent to our prospects as the Congress' and their vote bank was the same.'' Refuting allegations of infighting within the party, Prof Malhotra said the entire lot of partymen were solidly behind BJP candidates and working enthusiastically to see that the party wins by a landslide margin.

''With the prospect of BJP winning nearly thousands had applied for contesting under its banner, and finalising just 70 candidates from this lot was bound to make some unhappy. But any one off incident should not be taken as a sign of friction in the party.'' On whether this 'infighting' led to party's Rajendra Nagar constituency candidate Puran Chand Yogi's death, Mr Malhotra said, ''We still take his family's word that he died of heart attack,'' even though the police yesterday confirmed that Yogi died of ''strangulation'', lending credibility to the theory of suicide.

''All are totally united and working to see the party through.'' More UNI AN PD BD1425

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