BSP decides to support Congress in Madhya Pradesh

PTI

FILE: New Delhi: BSP chief Mayawati addressing the media. PTI

File photo of BSP chief Mayawati.

Seeking to “keep the BJP out of power”, BSP chief Mayawati Wednesday said her party will extend support to the Congress to form the government in Madhya Pradesh and, if required, in Rajasthan too.

With the Congress managing a wafer-thin majority in Madhya Pradesh, she said the BJP is making efforts to return to power in the state.

“We fought elections to keep the BJP out of power … We do not agree with the philosophy of the Congress. But to keep the BJP out of power, we will extend it our support,” she said in a statement.

The BSP president claimed that the electorate of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan was upset with the policies of the BJP governments at the Centre and in the three states and wanted to keep it out of power.

“That is why people preferred the Congress as a strong alternative. They voted for it with a heavy heart … had it (Congress) followed B R Ambedkar and worked for the development of Dalits, tribals and minorities, then there was no need to form this (BSP) party,” she said.

Also, the BJP would not have prospered in such a scenario, Mayawati said.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also said said that if the need arises, the BSP will support the Congress in Rajasthan to form the government.

She said though her party fought well in the assembly polls, it could not get seats as per its expectations.

The BSP chief said the Congress will use the mandate of the assembly polls to its benefit in the Lok Sabha elections, even as she urged her party cadre to gear up for the 2019 electoral battle.

Mayawati also said a statement issued by Janata Congress Chhattisgarh leader Ajit Jogi went against the alliance she sewed with his party and benefitted the Congress.

She said though Jogi later clarified his remarks, people had been misled by then. “Now, the Congress would not need our help in government formation in Chhattisgarh,” she said.

The Congress, which was locked in a tantalising see-saw battle with the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, has emerged as the single-largest party with 114 seats after the vote count ended on Wednesday morning, according to the State Election Commission Office.

The party is, however, two short of the simple majority mark, 116 seats, in the 230-member Assembly. The BJP was close behind with 109 seats.

The Bahujan Samaj Party won two seats and the Samajwadi Party one. Independents bagged four seats, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao told PTI.

(PTI)