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Rediff.com  » News » 'Mayawati to back UPA's Presidential candidate'

'Mayawati to back UPA's Presidential candidate'

June 15, 2012 01:45 IST

BSP supremo Mayawati may have used her plan to nominate a Dalit candidate for the post of President as a bargaining tool with the Congress, reports Sheela Bhatt.

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati will soon announce her support for the United Progressive Alliance candidate for the July 19 Presidential election, sources in the Congress party claimed to Rediff.com late on Thursday night.

However, Mayawati has a different plan, a BSP leader told Rediff.com. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister is toying with the idea of nominating a Dalit candidate for the President's post. Her party has 43,349 votes.

She wants to cast the BSP's 43,349 votes in favour of one candidate.

Mayawati should not be underestimated in the current political play over the Presidential election.

The BSP has just 4,700 votes less than crucial UPA ally, the Trinamool Congress, whose leader Mamata Banerjee created a huge storm in New Delhi on the strength of her party's 48,049 votes.

The BSP supremo may select a Dalit scholar with an impressive academic background and genuine credentials as her party's nominee should she decide to strike it alone.

K R Narayanan, the former diplomat, was India's first and only Dalit President; he was in office from July 1997 to July 2002.

Mayawati could also use her plan to nominate a Dalit candidate as a bargaining tool with the Congress.

In view of the ever widening cracks in the UPA, every thousand votes are extremely important.

If there is a three-corner contest for the President's post, even a few hundred votes would influence the outcome.

The President is elected by members of Parliament and members of the state legislative assemblies.

The Presidential electoral college has 10,98,882 votes, which includes 549,408 MPs' votes and 549,474 votes from members of the state legislative assemblies.

The magic figure to win the Presidential election is 549,442 votes.

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi