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'Cong, Mulayam will make Advani PM'

June 06, 2008 19:00 IST

Bhartiya Janata Party General Secretary Arun Jaitley, of who is leaving for a holiday after masterminding the party's victory in the Karnataka assembly election, is convinced that an alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party is sure to make L K Advani prime minister of India.

The noted lawyer and former law minister was entrusted with the task of handling some of the key states during assembly elections. Now he has been given the job of reviving the fortunes of the party in Uttar Pradesh where it did not do well during the last elections.

On Thursday, BJP top brass met to chalk out strategy and how to deal with the situation. "I am a pessimist but I have another way of looking at things. I am convinced that Mayawati, the Bahujan Samaj Party chief and UP chief minister, did well on in those places where she was able to put up a better candidate of a particular caste than the one put up by us," Jaitley said.

According to him, if the Congress and Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP join hands it would be the death of the United National Progressive Alliance. Those left behind will have to make up their minds about alliances before the Lok Sabha polls. "This includes Chandrababu Naidu, former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh," he pointed out.

When asked what would be key issues during the Lok Sabha election particularly in a state like Uttar Pradesh, he said, "By that time, Mayawati would have completed 22 months in office and hence she would have to face anti-incumbency. The Centre on the other hand would be accused of additional putting burden on the common man. We have to open our mouth and bash both of them. I am of the opinion that where there is just one candidate in a constituency, we should announce the name forthwith so that he/she can start campaigning like Mayawati has done on several seats."

Mayawati got Brahmins on her side wherever she put more Brahmin candidates. "I am convinced that once the Muslims consolidate behind Congress and SP, BJP would also benefit from a similar consolidation amongst Hindu urban votes," Jaitley said.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi