Support of the Muslims only if fielded Muslim candidates – Mayawati

published on May 17, 2009

Mayawati blames
Muslims for party’s poor show

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati Saturday blamed Muslims for her party’s poor showing in the Lok Sabha elections.

‘Only a small percentage of Muslims voted for my party this time,’ she said at a hurriedly-convened press conference at her official residence here late evening. However, she just read out a statement and refused to take questions.

‘We got support of the Muslim community only in constituencies where we had fielded Muslim candidates,’ she said, alleging that the party’s voters had been ‘misguided’ by the opposition parties.

‘Not only Muslims, but even other supporters of our party were misguided by opposition parties who ganged up against the BSP,’ she alleged, charging the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with joining hands to ensure that the BSP was kept away from staking any kind of claim to power at the centre.

Giving her reasons for lack of support by the Muslims, she said the opposition parties also sponsored a misinformation campaign that the BSP would once again align with the BJP as it had done on past three occasions.’

She, however, did not explain how and why her voter was willing to get easily ‘misguided’ or ‘misled’ by the opposition.

The BSP chief said that her party had actually not done all that badly in the elections. ‘After all, our tally has not gone down from where we stood in 2004 and where the vote share was concerned, it is amply clear now that the BSP had emerged as the third largest party at the national level – after the Congress and the BJP.’

‘As against a vote share of 5.3 percent in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, our vote share has gone up to 6.4 percent at the national level while it is up at the state level from 24.6 percent in the 2007 state assembly elections to 27 percent this time,’ she said.

Seeking to convey she was still open to the idea of supporting a non-BJP regime at the centre, Mayawati said: ‘As for our future course of action, let me make it loud and clear that we will never join hands with communal forces.’

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