The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said on Friday that it was confident of taking power on its own in Uttar Pradesh as counting of votes in the assembly elections showed it would end up as the single largest party.
"We have always maintained that BSP would make it on its own," asserted Satish Chandra Misra, the party general secretary who put in enormous efforts in making party chief Mayawati's social engineering experiment a success.
It was Misra who managed to convince upper caste Hindus to join hands with BSP, otherwise perceived as a purely Dalit party.
Exuding confidence that BSP would form the next government in the state, Misra said barely two hours after the counting of votes began on Friday: "We always maintained that BSP would remain far ahead of others, but somehow the media and pollsters were not willing to believe that."
Election officials said the BSP was leading in 180 of the 398 seats where trends were available. It could end up with 180 of the state's 403 assembly seats.
Mayawati was holed up inside her high-walled heavily guarded residence in Lucknow. Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav refused to meet the media.