UP chief minister Mayawati's strong opposition to the 2008 Indo-US nuclear deal was "just rhetoric" to counter her political rival, the Samajwadi Party, which supported the deal, a diplomatic cable which was leaked to WikiLeaks has revealed.
The cable - issued on May 13, 2009 after US Charge d' Affaires Peter Burleigh met UP cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar - also stressed that there will be "no change" in Indian foreign policy if, and when, she comes to power.
Shekhar told this to Burleigh in a private meeting on May 4, 2009 (on the eve of general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha) during the latter's trip to UP.
Dismissing Mayawati's anti-American statements, Shekhar told Burleigh that it was necessitated because her local political rival was supporting it. Mayawati had termed the deal as "anti-Muslim" during a debate over the Indo-US nuclear deal in July 2008.
He was candid enough to admit that he did not think Mayawati will become PM after the 2009 elections.
Nonetheless, he said that 25-30 seats in the Lok Sabha will make a big difference in government formation and will result in Mayawati playing a role in post-poll coalition negotiations. BSP eventually won just 20 seats. Mayawati's deputy was also very forthcoming about the poll prospects of the two other national parties, Congress and BJP.
He told Burleigh that both would do better in Uttar Pradesh than initially suspected. While Congress won 21 seats, BJP got just 10 seats.
Attributing this to voter's realisation that it was a "national poll" he told Burleigh that "because of the increased support for the national parties" he did not think the BSP supreme would become PM.
While Shekhar spoke elaborately on Mayawati's development plan for UP, Burleigh in his cable observed, tongue-in-cheek that Mayawati's deputy refrained to mention anything about the numerous statues and parks, which he says constitute the bulk of the BSP supremo's building power.