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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Maya mum on her choice for President

Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 25, 2007
First Published: 22:10 IST(25/5/2007) | Last Updated: 16:00 IST(1/6/2007)

Uttar Pradesh Chif Minister Mayawati on Friday remained non-committal on the all important question: will the BSP extend support - be it conditional or unconditional - to the UPA's government’s presidential nominee?

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“I realise the issue is important, but I will not reveal my cards until I have discussed the matter at the party’s national executive this evening”, Mayawati said on Friday.

Until the time of writing, the meeting at a five-star hotel in the Capital remained inconclusive.

Earlier Mayawati met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence for about 90 minutes. Gandhi — who had invited Mayawati over to tea — was the first political leader the BSP chief met on her first visit to Delhi after becoming UP chief minister for the fourth time. She has a meeting scheduled with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday.

Mayawati went on record recently to say that her party had always been supporting the UPA government and would continue to do so in future, "to keep the communal forces at bay”.

The electoral college for the Presidential elections will be complete after the Goa elections on June 2. A schedule for the poll has not been announced, but indications are that it will take place on July 15.

Heading the first single-party government in UP in the last decade and a half, Mayawati begins her second political innings as a mellowed and more seasoned leader. Incessantly probed and provoked on the Samajwadi Party's allegations of a political witch-hunt, she went only as far as to say that only those  projects that were against the public interest or were found to have flouted rules would be reviewed or annulled.

Significantly, she refrained from naming her political opponents. Flanked on the dais by state chief secretary Shashank Shekhar and party colleague and confidante Satish Chandra Mishra, the BSP chief wore a contented look. In an apparent potshot at the national media, she said: "During the election campaign, you people did not listen to me and all your predictions and survey results fell flat. You should listen to me now at least." To a question whether she would visit Nithari (scene of the serial killings of poor children), she retorted:  "I was the first one to have gone there; have you been sleeping or what?" She also ruled out the possibility of appointing Mishra as deputy chief minister, terming reports to that effect as myths propagated by the media.


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