Lucknow, Oct 26: Even as political pundits keep on speculating over the love-hate relationship between the BSP and the Congress, the former has decided to field a candidate for the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 general elections - making clear its intention to keep a safe distance from the UPA.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which provides outside support to the Congress-led UPA government at the centre, has decided to field Ram Lakhan Pasi, a former state government official, from Rae Bareli - a bastion of UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The decision to field Pasi, a Dalit, was announced by the BSP's senior leaders late Thursday after a meeting with party workers in Rae Bareli.
The BSP's move is in sharp contrast to the benevolence of the Samajwadi party (SP) that too bailed out the Congress-led minority United Progressive Alliance after the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress pulled out from the central government.
A few weeks ago, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav announced that his party would not field its candidate from Rae Bareli, from where the Congress president is likely to contest yet again.
The SP's decision, he said, was to reciprocate the "goodwill" gesture shown by the Congress by not fielding its candidate against his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav when she contested the Lok Sabha bypoll from Kannauj in June.
BSP national general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui said the party was very serious about the upcoming polls and was "working on" the important constituency of Rae Bareli.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the BSP's R.S. Kushwaha had polled over a lakh votes and had come a distant second.
The BSP Friday also announced its candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat - a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bastion earlier held by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Nakul Dubey, the former urban development minister in the Mayawati government, would be contesting the election from Lucknow. Dubey contested the state assembly polls this year from Bakshi Ka Talaab constituency in Lucknow but lost to Gomti Yadav of the SP.