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'Our Ambitions Don't Clash': Akhilesh Endorses Mayawati as PM Candidate, Says Has Her Backing for UP CM's Post

The SP chief said after joining the alliance, he had discovered 'wonderful' qualities about Mayawati, such as her discipline and focus.

News18.com

Updated:May 8, 2019, 4:49 PM IST
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'Our Ambitions Don't Clash': Akhilesh Endorses Mayawati as PM Candidate, Says Has Her Backing for UP CM's Post
File photo of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav with BSP supremo Mayawati. (Image: News18)

In the first clear endorsement of Mayawati for the country’s top post, her ally and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has said he wants to see the BSP chief as the Prime Minister and would be happy to work towards the realisation of the goal.

“Our ambitions don’t clash. I am happy to do my best to see her as the Prime Minister and she is happy to do her best to see me as Uttar Pradesh chief minister,” Akhilesh said in an interview to Mumbai Mirror.

It is for the first time that the SP chief has openly backed his once-sworn enemy though he has been dropping hints in the past. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to drive a wedge between the allies by accusing the Samajwadi Party of being hand-in-glove with the Congress and fooling Mayawati, Akhilesh said the next prime minister would be from the ‘gathbandhan’ and he would be “very happy if it is a woman”.

Talking about his rapport with the BSP chief, Akhilesh told Mumbai Mirror though there was no comfort in their relationship earlier, there was no strain too. “In May 2018, we were in Bengaluru and both of us were glad that the BJP could not win Karnataka. However, we could not communicate this to each other. There was a certain awkwardness in our relationship,” he said.

Akhilesh said it took the leaders some time but they now trust each other completely. He added that after joining hands, he had discovered “wonderful” qualities in Mayawati such as her discipline, focus and organisation. Akhilesh also said though Mayawati was not a fan of perception management or social media, her strength was cadre discipline and grassroots-level organisational skills.

Another factor that binds the two leaders is the Congress, said Akhilesh. “Congress was the first to latch CBI on my father. It has harassed her too,” he said. Delivering a blow to the prospects of a ‘Mahagathbandhan’, Mayawati had made it clear in March that her party would not have any electoral tie-up with the Congress in any state for the Lok Sabha elections.

Rubbishing reports that the alliance was “superficial”, a charge often levelled by PM Modi and other BJP leaders, Akhilesh said the significance of the tie-up had “penetrated deep within the entire UP. Our cadres, volunteers and voters in Lucknow to Reoti or Robertsganj are in sync with each other”.

He called the alliance the “biggest thing to happen to UP”, adding that 70-plus communities had synergised and decided to vote with a singular stance of not letting BJP form the government. “Transfer of votes of BSP and SP has been very smooth,” he said.

The SP and the BSP stitched together an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, keeping the Congress out, though the two parties decided not to field any candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the traditional strongholds of the grand old party. Of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the SP will contest 37 and the BSP 38, leaving three for the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and two for Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and Rahul Gandhi (Amethi).

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