NEW DELHI, March 15 -- Retired Indian Administrative Service officer Net Ram, principal secretary to Mayawati during one of her stints as Uttar Pradesh chief minister, was in talks with her Bahujan Samaj Party to contest as a party candidate in the Lok Sabha elections, income tax officials who raided his premises said on Thursday.

One official with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity that Net Ram was "negotiating" a LS ticket from a party. Two other officials confirmed that the former bureaucrat "was interested in getting a ticket from the BSP". None wished to be identified.

Net Ram did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Hid phone was switched off. The BSP didn't immediately respond to a query on Net Ram's...