- Mayawati has announced she will not contest the national elections
- She says she would rather campaign for the candidates
- The BSP chief says don't be disheartened by decision not to contest
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, after announcing on Wednesday that she would not contest next month's national election, dropped a broad hint that the decision doesn't rule her out of the race for prime minister. A person can become a parliamentarian within six months of holding the office of prime minister or minister, she pointed out in tweets that urged BSP workers not to lose heart.
"When I became UP CM first time in 1995 I was not member of either UP Assembly or Council. Similarly is provision at the Centre where a person have to be a LS/RS member within 6 months of holding office of minister/PM. Don't disheartened from my decision not to contest LS poll now (sic)," posted Mayawati, 63.
Mayawati, who has teamed up with her bitter rival Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls, said on Wednesday she wanted to focus on campaigning for the candidates of her BSP and that of ally Samajwadi Party.
"I won't contest polls. I am confident that my party will completely understand my decision. Our coalition is doing well. I can vacate a seat and contest later if I wish," the former chief minister told reporters in Lucknow.
Akhilesh Yadav, who has often dodged questions on who he sees as prime minister, had in January indicated that he would back Mayawati for the top job.
Addressing a joint press conference to announce their gathbandhan or grand alliance in January, Akhilesh Yadav had said he would be "happy if the PM was from his home state (UP)".
With their alliance, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav hope to replicate their heartening wins in the Uttar Pradesh bypolls last year in which their candidate won BJP strongholds like Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
Some opposition leaders fear that the Congress, which has been left out of the alliance - Mayawati has asserted she will have nothing to do with the party not just in Uttar Pradesh but anywhere in the country - may prove to be a spoiler and cause a split in the votes against the ruling BJP.
Mayawati's alliance partner Akhilesh Yadav, told NDTV that the time for an alliance with the Congress was over, but the party must still try to help other opposition parties.
"The time has run out. It is difficult to come together. But the Congress is a big party. It must try to help the other political parties," Akhilesh Yadav told NDTV.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders have ridiculed the opposition's proposed alliance as "mahamilawat (adulterated)", saying everybody in the alliance wants to become prime minister.