BSP president Ms Mayawati has directed her party's Members of Parliament to reach Delhi by July 17 at all cost to participate in the presidential election and vote in favour of UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee. She also directed all party MLAs to reach Lucknow by July 17 to be present to caste vote in favour of Mr Mukherjee.
On a poll campaign trail, UPA's presidential nominee Mr Mukherjee went to Lucknow today and met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav before meeting the former chief minister of the state.
"All party MPs should reach Delhi by July 17 at all cost. The next day I will preside over a meeting at the party office in Parliament where necessary directives regarding voting will be given," she told party MPs and MLAs in Lucknow.
A meeting would be held next day at which Swami Prasad Maurya, Naseemuddin Siddiqui and other leaders would issue necessary directives, the BSP supremo said.
"The leaders will brief them about the voting method and what precautions are to be taken during voting," she said.
The former Chief Minister directed that no MLA should abstain from voting and all the MLAs should vote in favour of Mukherjee on July 19. She assured Mukherjee that all party MPs would vote in his favour. "I am confident that other than UP, party MLAs in other states and an MP in Madhya Pradesh will vote in his favour."
Ms Mayawati said Mukherjee would win with a very good margin as all know that along with the UPA some NDA allies were supporting him.
"His victory is natural," she said.
"Pranab Mukherjee is an able man and skilled in every aspect and the party has decided to extend full support to him," the BSP chief said.
Appealing to BSP MLAs and MPs to vote for him, Pranab Mukherjee said the Indian Constitution given by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar is based on ethos of equality and brotherhood.
"The basic factor of the Constitution is secularism and in my public life I have worked on these values and will continue to follow them in my future responsibilities also," he said.
"People have high hopes from the Constitution and democracy for economic development. India is a democratic and secular country," he said.
"The biggest power as per the Constitution given by Babasaheb is the common people, though the country is young the culture is very old and when today we are working on the modernisation and development our responsibility has increased," he said.
The Constitution has provided a solid base on which the social economy is based and the country is advancing strongly, Mr Mukherjee said.
He said the economic development should be such that poor, dalit, backwards, women, youth, minorities and others all get its benefits equally.
"The rate with which the development is taking place I am confident that we will manage in overcoming poverty, starvation, illiteracy," he said.
Mr Mukherjee, who was present at the meeting of BSP MPs and MLAs, said the President of the country is the custodian of the Constitution and also dignity of the people and he is aware of these responsibilities.
He said he has faced several challenges in the past in public life and found his experience helpful in overcoming them.
Mr Mukherjee said besides the UPA partners, he was also getting the support of NDA partners Shiv Sena and JD (U).