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BSP’s Mayawati eyes PM’s post, but faces heavy odds
BSP’s Mayawati eyes PM’s post, but faces heavy odds

New Delhi, May 13 (TIWN): Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati launched a blistering personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, drawing angry reactions from BJP leaders. By attacking the Prime Minister, the BSP supremo may have achieved the twin objectives of quelling the rumours of a possible post-poll tieup with the BJP and projecting herself as the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate in case of a fractured verdict in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Mayawati makes no bones about her prime ministerial ambitions these days. Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Ambedkar Nagar constituency last week, the BSP leader hinted that if things work according to her plans, she will contest from the seat that elected her four times to the Lok Sabha since 1989. By announcing this, she was clearly sending a signal to the Congress, regional parties and her supporters that she is a serious contender for prime ministership. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, her ally in Uttar Pradesh, has been projecting Mayawati as the alliance’s PM candidate throughout the campaign.
The 62-year-old former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is key to opposition parties’ bid to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from coming back to power. A runaway victory in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, had catapulted Modi to power in 2014. BJP had won 73 of the state’s 80 seats along with allies and a big fall in UP tally could spell trouble for Modi’s re-election bid. Maywati who enjoys unflinching support of the Dalits is one leader capable of tackling the mean electoral machine led by BJP president Amit Shah.
Mayawati is the tallest leader of Dalits who constitute close to 17 per cent of the country’s population and her party has a significant presence in many of the north Indian staes that gave Modi a resounding mandate in 2014. If her coalition with SP manages to restrict the BJP tally to below 30, she could dent Modi’s re-election bid and project herself as the most credible opposition candidate for the prime minister’s position.
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