It was a big surprise, to say the least! A Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate from Navsari constituency in Gujarat brought Rs 5,000 in coins as deposit money for the state assembly elections. The Election Commission office staff were astonished when candidate Gunawant Rathod produced a bag full of coins as his deposit money for the election. He said that the money was given to him by the public for candidature. The Election Commission office administration had to deploy seven persons to count the coins.

BSP chief Mayawati will address a rally in Rajkot to boost her party’s election campaign in Gujarat where her party is contesting on all 182 seats after talks of pre-poll alliance with Congress failed. The BSP supremo will address a rally on December 5, said BSP’s Gujarat chief Chattu Ram. Mayawati had earlier planned not to campaign in Gujarat. She had, in fact, asked party workers to reach Jaipur for a rally on December 1. Her Rajkot rally comes a day before the 62nd death anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.

Mayawati, while addressing party workers in Lucknow earlier this week said that talks for alliance with Congress failed over seat sharing arrangement. Significantly, Mayawati did not campaign in Himachal and sent close aide Satish Chandra Mishra.

According to a report compiled by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat received donations over four times than that of all the other five national parties combined between 2011-12 and 2015-16. The report has taken into consideration six national parties for the study, namely- BJP, BSP, CPI, CPM, INC and NCP.

Earlier on November 16, BSP supremo Mayawati said that she is not averse to electoral tie-ups with like-minded parties to stop the juggernaut of the “BJP and other communal forces”, but the BSP will do so only if it is given a “respectable share”. In Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, the Congress party, she claimed, was not even ready to part with some of the seats it has traditionally been losing. Mayawati said that under this mindset, no forward movement can take place on alliance issues.

The BSP supremo informed that although her close aide Satish Chandra Mishra and political advisor to Congress President Ahmad Patel held meetings for seat sharing in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat but nothing concrete emerged, forcing the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to abandon the efforts. She said that situation is such that now Mishra has even stopped mulling any such alliance efforts, adding that while in Gujarat the Congress had offered to give 25 of its lost seats of the total 182, in Himachal Pradesh, 10 of the seats it lost of the total 68.

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