`BSP to go it alone in state'
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
Ludhiana, March 12: BSP supremo Kanshi Ram has said his party would fight the elections in Punjab, "whenever these would be held", on its own strength and would not go in for alliance with any party. "We would fight on all the 117 seats and win more than 60 seats in Punjab," he asserted, while speaking to mediapersons at the circuit house here today.
Former UP Chief Minister Mayawati also arrived in the city this afternoon and held a meeting with the party chief. The leaders are here in connection with the "Bahujan Samaj Diwas", being organised by the party here on March 15 on the 67th birthday of Kanshi Ram. State minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan also met the two leaders, but Kanshi Ram refused to divulge the details. The BSP president also evaded a direct reply to queries regarding the political parties which had approached him for alliance for the coming Assembly elections. Reportedly, Sekhwan discussed the possibility of alliance between the two parties during his short meeting with the two leaders.
Replying to speculations regarding the elections, Kanshi Ram said there was possibility of polls being held in the next two or three months. He also said some BJP leaders from Jalandhar had approached him and expressed their disillusionment with their own party saying that they had advised their senior leaders to break the coalition (with the SAD). However, the suggestion was turned down, he said, adding, "They also expressed their wish to join us." He, however, refused to name the BJP leaders.
Asked whether his party would welcome Kamal Chowdhary after reports regarding the BJP leader joining BSP appeared in the press, Kanshi Ram replied in affirmative. Asked whether he had approached by Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra to join the third front, Kanshi Ram denied such reports and added that there was also no assurance that even Tohra would be joining the third front.
Further, the BSP leader said he was organising the party cadre to form the Bahujan Samaj, which the party leaders had failed to establish in Punjab. "I concentrated my efforts on UP first, since UP happens to be the land of Manu, where caste divide is at its peak. I left Punjab to the local leaders hoping that they would be able to form a Bahujan Samaj. However, they have failed and hence I would now be spending more time here," he said.
He also asserted that the party had a membership ranging between three to four lakhs in Punjab.