Lucknow, Mar 31 (UNI) The ruling Samajwadi Party today alleged that former chief minister Mayawati was not fielding candidate against AICC president Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli to defend herself in the Taj Heritage Corridor (THC) scam.
Senior SP leader and state PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav claimed here the BSP supremo's decision was aimed at protecting herself in the THC scam. ''Congress is in power at the Centre...Ms Mayawati is only trying to appease Ms Gandhi to avoid further embarrassment in the scam.'' He asserted the ruling SP would field a strong candidate against Ms Gandhi in the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha bypoll, the date of which has not been announced yet.
To a poser on expelled BJP leader Uma Bharti sending a letter to all political parties to unite against Sonia in the bypolls, the chief minister's younger sibling claimed his party would thoroughly discuss the issue.
Earlier today, Ms Mayawati announced her party will not field any candidate against the AICC chief. Addressing party workers in a closed door meeting here, she reportedly maintained ''the BSP strategy will help the party weaken BJP.'' She claimed if the BSP fielded its candidate against Ms Gandhi, it would in a way help the BJP. ''We want Ms Gandhi to emerge as a stronger leader in the Lok Sabha...her presence in Parliament would weaken the BJP.'' Ms Mayawati added she wanted a balance between BJP and Congress to help the BSP eventually.
Her reported decision comes a day after expelled BJP leader Uma Bharti announced fielding a woman candidate against Ms Gandhi.
The sadhvi-turned-politician said she wanted to contest from Rae Bareli herself, but for the time constraint in view of launching her new party by April 30.
''In any case, I would function as a 'shadow' candidate and spend sufficient time to campaign against Ms Gandhi,'' she announced.
Earlier this month, Ms Gandhi had announced her resignation from the post of National Advisory Council (NAC) chairperson and as member of Lok Sabha following office of profit controversy.
On Tuesday, the Congress President announced in Rae Bareli her decision to contest the bypoll from the constituency.
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