Mayawati hints at her PM ambitions

The Asian Age.

India, All India

Appeals to BSP, SP workers to put up a joint fight against BJP.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav greets Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on her 63rd birthday in Lucknow on Tuesday. Both the parties recently entered into an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: BSP supremo, Mayawati, used the occasion of her 63rd birthday to appeal to workers of her party and the SP to fight the BJP unitedly in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and she also threw her hat in the ring as a potential prime ministerial contender.

In a bid to iron out differences between workers of the SP and the BSP on ground, Ms Mayawati on Tuesday appealed to her party and Samajwadi Party cadres to forget their past and to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together.

“Forget past differences and ensure victory of all joint candidates of the SP and the BSP. This will be my ideal birthday gift,” she said.

Ms Mayawati also said that Uttar Pradesh, which is India’s largest state with teh maximum number of Lok Sabha seats (80), will decide who will be the next Prime Minister.

“UP decides who will come to power at the Centre and who will be the Prime Minister. The BSP and the SP must fight together, setting aside their differences and ensure the victory of all ‘gathbandhan’ (alliance) candidates,” she said, hinting at her prime ministerial ambitions. Ms Mayawati’s statement came after the BSP and the SP announced an alliance in Uttar Pradesh to fight the BJP in Lok Sabha polls on Saturday.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav later visited the BSP chief and presented her with a bouquet and a shawl on her birthday.

The BSP supremo, who had spelt out the reasons of keeping the Congress out of the alliance on Saturday, did not spare it on Tuesday, asking the party to understand that “popular declarations will not help them anymore”.

“Fingers have already been raised at the Congress government over the loan waiver scheme in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, and people are asking as to why the cut-off date for it has been fixed for March 31 when it should have been December 17, 2018, when the new government took over. Also, these governments are only waiving loans up to Rs 2 lakh. This will not help farmers in any manner,” she said.

She called for one-time waiver of the entire loan to check farmers’ suicides as well as resolve all their problems. Asking the Central and state governments to prepare a long-term plan for resolving the problems of farmers, she said the farmers believe that implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations will help overcome their plight.