BSP announced its second list of candidates for 100 more Assembly seats, on 6 January, thereby declaring nominees for 200 of the 403 seats, with Muslims getting the lion's share with a total of 58 aspirants in the two lists.
While BSP's first list of 100 candidates released yesterday contained names of 36 Muslim candidates, today's list has names of 22 aspirants from the community that accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the state's electorate.
The party has already shortlisted names of candidates for all the 403 seats, BSP supremo Mayawati had told a press conference earlier.
Giving caste-wise details of the shortlisted candidates, she had said 87 tickets will be given to Dalits, 97 to Muslims and 106 to OBCs.
Of the 113 tickets earmarked for upper castes, Brahmins will get 66, Kshatriyas 36, and Kayasthas, Vaishyas and Punjabi 11, she had said.
The BSP chief had said she had finalised the names of candidates long ago and there will be no change in it.
Alleging that minorities were facing bias under the Modi government, Mayawati had cautioned Muslims that voting for Samajwadi Party or Congress will only help BJP and sought their support "to stop" the saffron party.
Muslims should not waste their vote as there is infighting in Samajwadi Party, and Congress lacks a voter base in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati had said.
She had advised them to be extra cautious in the coming Assembly elections and not waste their vote on the Samajwadi Party which had split in two camps. Muslims are considered the traditional votebank of the ruling Samajwadi Party.
"The Samajwadi Party has been divided into two. Muslims have to be very careful. They should not divide their votes," she had said.
Divided Muslim votes translate to gains for BJP, while a consolidation will change the poll arithmetic as minorities play a crucial role in at least 125 of 403 constituencies.