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BSP ready to support Cong-led Govt

May 13, 2004 15:33 IST
Last Updated: May 13, 2004 16:30 IST

The Bahujan Samaj Party on Thursday said it was not averse to extending support to a Congress-led front at the Centre even if it has the Samajwadi Party as one of the constituents.

"Our main agenda is to strengthen the secular forces at the Centre and keep communal forces away from power. For this, we are ready to extend support to a Congress-led front," BSP chief Mayawati told newspersons in Delhi.

However, she made it clear that if the Congress backs the Samajwadi Party in leading the government, it would not support such an alliance.

Asked why the BSP had not entered into a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, she said it was because that party was supporting SP in UP which had a 'secret understanding' with the BJP.

Also, Mayawati said past experience had shown that the BSP would not benefit if it had an electoral understanding with the Congress.

"In the 1996 assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, we had an understanding with the Congress. However, after the results were out, we saw that the pre-poll understanding benefited only the Congress while we suffered. Therefore, we decided to go it alone in this elections," the BSP chief said.

Asked whether the BSP would extend outside support to the government or be a part of it, she said it would be decided by the party's senior leaders.

"It is a policy matter and I have to consult senior leaders of the party before speaking on this," she added.

Mayawati said in contrast to exit polls which predicted that the BSP would get between 10 and 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the party looked set to win 18-20 seats.

Asked whether she had any objection to Sonia Gandhi becoming prime minister, Mayawati said it was an 'internal matter' of Congress.

"I have never talked against Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin issue on any platform," Mayawati said. On whether she had been contacted by Congress or its allies, she said she could not reveal this at the moment.

Asked if BJP had got in touch with her, Mayawati said, "How can they do so after the treatment they meted out to us."

About the CBI case against her in the Taj Corridor controversy, Mayawati said, "If I wanted to escape from the case, I would have joined NDA long ago."

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