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Mayawati counts on her supporters, says enough electoral strength to make me PM

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Lucknow: Mayawati, undeterred by her party’s heinous defeat in the recently ended Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, declared on Thursday that her followers still had “enough electoral power” to propel her to the Prime Ministership.

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“If Dalit, Muslims, OBC and economically poor upper caste come together they can make me the PM. Their votes have enough strength to do so,” Mayawati said dismissing the rumours, stating that she has never sought to be President of India. “I can think of returning to power in UP and later becoming a PM but have never dreamt of becoming the President,” she said.

Mayawati’s declaration of her desire to become Prime Minister coincided with rumours that a slew of regional parties are scrambling to form an alliance to prevent the BJP from regaining power under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled for 2024.

The BSP supremo stated that she entered politics “not to lead a lavish life,” but rather to empower Dalits and improve the socially underprivileged, as Dalit icon BR Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshiram had envisioned.

“I can achieve the objective only by becoming UP CM or PM…,” she underlined.

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Mayawati slammed the Samajwadi Party’s leadership, accusing them of fanning rumours about her becoming India’s President. “Such rumours clear their way for UP CM’s chair… They need to forget this…koi fayda nahi…,” she said. Experts believe the BSP chief statement was intended to dispel the idea that she had been reduced to nothing more than a fence sitter following the recent UP electoral catastrophe. More so, despite swirling rumours that her core Dalit voters would be swayed towards the BJP, which had won the state for the second time in a row. The fact that the BSP could only win one seat despite its vote share plummeting from just over 22 percent in 2017 to about 12 percent this time simply adds fuel to the fire.

Mayawati repeated that the SP and the BJP had reached an unspoken agreement to polarise the UP elections along religious lines. “The Muslim and Yadav communities are seeing the outcome of their entire support for the SP, which ultimately failed to prevent the BJP from regaining power,” she added, urging Muslims and other OBC communities, including Yadav, not to be “misled” by the SP in the future.

In the context of her alliance with the SP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when her party won 10 seats, the BSP chief’s request for Muslim and Yadav support took on added significance. While the BSP was able to recover from a 0 vote in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the SP was limited to only five seats in the 2019 elections. Mayawati, on the other hand, shattered the coalition, criticising the SP for failing to transfer its voter base.

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