A senior leader of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party has assured that the party would do all it can to stop the BJP from coming to power in any of the three heartland states where assembly elections have been held. The Congress, which is ahead in all three, had reached out to the BSP for support in a third, where a split verdict is still possible.
"It is clear that people have voted against the BJP. The BJP has lost badly. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that BJP can't form a government in any of the states," senior BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria told NDTV.
Mayawati is believed to have called her leaders for a meeting in Delhi after senior Congress leader Kamal Nath contacted her in the backdrop of a neck and neck fight in Madhya Pradesh, sources said.
In another state, Rajasthan, the Congress is heading for a wafer-thin majority, leading in 101 of the state's 200 seats. State Congress in-charge Sachin Pilot had said, "Even though we are certain we will have the numbers by ourselves, I would like to reach out to other like-minded parties and leaders to form the government".
In Madhya Pradesh, Mayawati's party has won a seat and is leading in another. In Rajasthan her party has won six. In Chhattisgarh, where she tied up with the state's former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, the alliance is leading in seven seats. In Chhattisgarh, though, the Congress is set to receive a huge mandate, leading in 68 of the state's 90 seats.
Mayawati had ruled out any alliance with the Congress in this round of assembly elections after seat-sharing talks in the three states fell through. But she had left the door open for a united front against the BJP in next year's general elections.
The leader, who has a huge support base among the Scheduled castes in Uttar Pradesh - the state that sends the highest number of lawmakers to parliament -- however, had skipped yesterday's 21-party opposition meeting to forge an alliance for next year. Her ally in the state, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, had also given the meeting a miss.