Mayawati keeps UPA guessing

Updated on May 25, 2007 07:55 PM IST
The UP CM has not applied her mind to today’s most pressing political question: Whether the BSP will extend support to the UPA’s presidential nominee, reports Srinand Jha.
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has not applied her mind to today’s most pressing political question: Whether the BSP will extend support – conditional or otherwise – to the UPA’s presidential nominee.

"I realise that the issue is important, but i am unable to open up my cards until I have discussed the matter with leaders of the UP state unit including MPs and MLAs," Mayawati said at a press conference.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was the first political leader that Mayawati met on Friday - on her first visit to New Delhi since assuming charge as the chief minister for a fourth term. She has a meeting lined up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Saturday.

The BSP chief has also gone on record to say that her party’s support to the UPA government – inspired by the desire to keep communal forces at bay – has been there in the past and will continue to remain.

Some straws in the wind on Mayawati’s thoughts on the Presidential issue?

The BSP supremo is not making any commitments until having discussed the matter in detail at a meeting of her party’s national executive.

Flanked by state Chief Secretary Shashank Shekhar and party leader Satish Chandra Mishra, the BSP chief wore apparently a contented look, as she sat on the dais fielding questions at a crowded press conference. She did not miss out on her chance to take pot shots at the national media.

"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," she remarked amidst the hustle-bustle of the question/answer session.

On another occasion, Mayawati had had this comment to a question whether she would be visiting Nithari (scene of the brutal murders of poor children): "I was the first one to have gone there; have you been sleeping or what?"

The BSP chief said that desire of the party cadres was that the BSP should extend the sphere of its influence and emerge as a force in Delhi and elsewhere. Is that a wrong kind of a goal to have, she asked?

Asserting that the UP verdict was a mandate "against criminals and the mafia", the chief minister said that restoring faith in the law and order machinery and improving the health delivery system would be her government’s areas of focus.


    Srinand Jha covers the Ministry of Railways and writes on politics in the Hindi heartland. Also interested in media and social/cultural issues.

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