BSP to give 'issue-based' support

PTI | ByPress Trust of India
May 18, 2004 11:01 PM IST

BSP supremo Mayawati said her party would extend "outside" support to UPA to form a govt at the Centre.

BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday said her party would extend "issue-based outside" support to the Congress-led alliance to form a government at the Centre.

HT Image
HT Image

In a letter sent to President A P J Abdul Kalam, Mayawati said BSP would not join the Congress-led alliance or the Goverment led by party President Sonia Gandhi, but extend "outside" support to it to strengthen secular forces.

However, she added that the support would be "issue-based" keeping the interests of Dalits and backward classes in mind.

Mayawati said the letter mentioned the name of Gandhi as there was no uncertainty over whether she would be the next Prime Minister when the document was sent shortly after noon.

"But let me make it clear, we will support Gandhi or any other leader put forward by her for the Prime Ministerial post," she told reporters here.

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said she had no objection to Samajwadi Party joining the next Government and being given Cabinet posts, but added that she would withdraw her support if SP was given the post of Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.

Asked whether there was any chance of BSP joining the Government at a later stage, Mayawati said "if we find that it is keeping the interests of Dalits and backward classes in mind, we will see."

She claimed that former Prime Minister V P Singh telephoned her two days ago to say that Left parties had no objection to BSP joining the Government.

"I have also been in touch with Congress leader Rajeev Shukla and he informed me that Gandhi had given a message that I could meet her whenever I liked.

"But I told him that let the Government be formed, then I will meet Gandhi," Mayawati said.

On possibility of a BSP-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh, she said "this will depend on how much they take to change their manuwadi outlook.

"At this moment, however, there is no notable change," Mayawati said, but hastened to add that BSP was not against upper castes or any religion.

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