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Akhilesh Yadav Hints Ready to Back Mayawati as PM After Modi Alleges 'Big Game' Against Her

The Samajwadi Party chief said the next PM would be from the gathbandhan and he would be very happy if it is a woman.


Updated:May 5, 2019, 4:48 PM IST
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New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to drive a wedge between SP and BSP by highlighting their “differing approaches” towards the Congress, Akhilesh Yadav hinted that he is ready to back Mayawati as the prime ministerial face of the opposition.

Speaking to reporters, the Samajwadi Party chief said that the next PM would be from the gathbandhan and he would be very happy if it is a woman. Although he did not take Mayawati’s name, Akhilesh’s hint was clear enough.

“The gathbandhan will give the country its next Prime Minister and I would be very happy if it comes from the other half of the population (women). If that happens, the Samajwadi Party will give its full support,” he said.

Yadav’s statement, just days after he floated the idea of his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh as the PM face, is an attempt to assure Mayawati of SP’s full support after Modi alleged that the Congress and the SP are playing a “big game” with her.

“The SP is going soft on the Congress, but its alliance partner BSP chief Mayawati is attacking the Congress,” Modi told an election rally here, adding a Congress leader had shared the stage with the SP. The reference appeared to be to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s presence at a Samajwadi meeting in Rae Bareli.

This additional twist to the tale has come as the election in Uttar Pradesh is moving eastwards, where the SP has a large number of candidates in the fray, and it is counting on vote transfer from the BSP’s support base.

According to senior BJP leaders, Modi made the statement about SP going soft on Congress after the party studied the candidate selection of the two parties in the state, which shows that while the BSP and Congress are working at cross-purposes, the SP and Congress are not.

Caste profile of the candidates selected by the Congress for UP indicates SP has got the better deal of the two gathbandhan parties.

For instance, in eastern and central UP, Congress has inducted some strong Yadav leaders who could not get a ticket from the alliance. For instance Ramakant and Bhalchandra Yadav from Bhadohi and Sant Kabirnagar are pitted against BSP’s Brahmin candidates. This will hamper the SP’s ability in these seats to transfer votes to BSP candidates.

On the other hand, in constituencies like Rampur, Congress chose to field a former MLA Sanjiv Kapoor in the direct contest between Azam Khan and Jaya Prada. Former MP Noor Bano on Congress symbol would have damaged Azam Khan more than Prada.

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