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Home > News > PTI

Presidential poll: Maya joins hands with UPA

June 12, 2007 14:02 IST
Last Updated: June 12, 2007 15:47 IST

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Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, whose party holds substantial number of votes to tilt the scales in the presidential election, on Tuesday announced 'unconditional' support to the United Progressive Alliance nominee, giving a major boost to the ruling alliance's prospects in the poll.

After an overnight dinner she hosted for Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister told a press conference that an understanding has been reached between them on the candidate to be fielded by the UPA but declined to name the personality.

With over 58,000 BSP votes, Mayawati's formal announcement of backing strengthens UPA's position in the next month elections in which the ruling alliance has already over 5.13 lakh votes in an electoral college of 10.98 lakh votes.

As of now, the NDA has strength of over 3.54 lakh votes and a combination of eight regional parties constituting the third front has about 1.05 lakh votes.

Mayawati made her position of support to UPA clear by saying the question of supporting NDA or Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekawat as an independent 'does not arise.'

'Communal forces should not get any boost and their nominee should not succeed,' she said in reply to questions.

Asked whether her support to UPA was laced with conditions and whether she had placed any demand for the Vice President's post for her nominee, she said "there is neither any condition nor any claim."

 Despite persistent questions whether the leader on whose name a consensus was reached is Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the BSP supremo sidestepped the questions by telling the media it was time for the scribes to have lunch.

"Sonia will make the announcement in this regard. I do not want to reveal the cards," she said.

Asked whether the dinner meeting last night with Sonia has turned their relationship into friendship, Mayawati shot back 'when was there an enmity between us.'

To a question whether the new bonhomie would continue till the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, she said the press conference has been called for a particular issue and the questions should be put regarding that.

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister also dismissed suggestions that her meeting with Sonia would lead to BSP joining the UPA coalition at the Centre.

"There was an invitation to join the Government at the centre when UPA came to power but we decided to extend support from outside and will continue to do so," she said.

Mayawati said she formed government thrice with the support of BJP but at no time compromised with the party's ideology and principles.

"That is why I am out of power before expiry of my term as chief minister."

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