Mulayam all set to be kingmaker
With his party set to win more than 35 seats in UP, SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav is gearing to play the role of a kingmaker.
With his party set to win more than 35 seats in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is gearing to play the role of a kingmaker.
"I had always maintained that no government would be possible in New Delhi without the support of Samajwadi Party and the results are proving me right," a jubilant Yadav told IANS.
"We are already leading in 38 seats and I am sure, we will do even better by the end of the day."
Yadav is widely expected to join hands with the Congress party and the communists to form the next national government.
But Yadav refused to comment on his post in the new government. There has been speculation that he might stake claim for the post of prime minister or deputy prime minister.
"I am not a seeker of positions, I believe in my ideology," said Yadav. "We will hold a meeting of our parliamentary board in New Delhi tomorrow to take further decisions."
The SP, which won 26 seats in 1999, appears to be emerging as the biggest gainer in the new tally. It's main rival in the state, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) might improve marginally its previous tally of 14 seats. The BSP is leading in 18 constituencies.
Far from adding to its earlier tally of 29, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems on course for a major setback in Uttar Pradesh, where it was hoping to make big gains.
At 1 p.m. the party was leading in just 17 seats. Its high profile Human Rsource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi was trailing in Allahabad. State BJP president and rabble-rouser Vinay Katiyar was also in a similar situation.
Among the winners for the BJP is Kalyan Singh, though Arif Mohammad Khan, a new party entrant, has lost.
Maneka Gandhi was among the first BJP candidates to win in Uttar Pradesh. She retained her Pilibhit seat for the third consecutive time.
Other prominent leaders from the state like Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lucknow, Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri and BSP chief Mayawati in Akbarpur are far ahead of their rivals.
One surprise win for the SP has been that of film star Jayaprada against sitting Congress candidate Noor Bano in Rampur.
--Indo-Asian News Service