The Congress party on Friday congratulated Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati for her victorious showing in the Uttar Pradesh elections.
"We congratulate Mayawati for spreading the 'mayajal' and defeating the Samajwadi Party," Congress spokesperson and Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said.
Mayawati is set to be the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh as the 50 million votes cast in the staggered assembly elections were counted on Friday.
Sibal, convenor of the Congress campaign in Uttar Pradesh, said his party too had contributed to the BSP victory.
"I think Mayawati should thank us because all the benefits of our campaign against (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Mulayam Singh have gone to Mayawati," he said.
Although the Congress did not make any major gains, Sibal said the party's main aim was to defeat the Samajwadi Party.
"First of all we wanted to throw out Mulayam Singh's government. Secondly we wanted to expose the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). We have succeeded in both," Sibal said.
The Congress seems divided over lending support to Mayawati. One section holds the view that the Congress should be a part of a BSP government while others feel such a move would hurt the Congress prospects in the long run.
Satyavrat Chaturvedi, a senior Congress leader, said joining hands with Mayawati would damage the party's prospects in the long run as the BSP would be able to consolidate the Dalit votes in other states too.
But the state leaders argued that the party would not be able to remain afloat in the state without power for too long. "We will sit and talk about it," Sibal said.