Cautions against hasty decision on Pak

Slamming the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance for failing in their responsibility, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday positioned her party as an “alternative” at the Centre.

Addressing a crowded press conference here on her 57th birthday, Ms. Mayawati said that while the UPA had failed on several fronts, the NDA too had not played its role of a responsible Opposition. “The NDA’s lack of discipline and direction has given jeevan dan [lease of life] to the UPA government. Had the Opposition fared better, several UPA allies would have joined the NDA.”

In response to repeated questions on the escalating tension on the border with Pakistan after the beheading of an Indian soldier, Ms. Mayawati cautioned against any hasty decision and said “war is not the only option.” If there is scope, she prefers dialogue to ease tensions.

She, however, charged the government with not taking a serious stand on these issues and bemoaned that “firing along the LoC had become a routine affair which claimed the lives of several of our soldiers.”

Skirting questions on her continuing support to the UPA and on bailing out the government in Parliament on several tricky issues, including Foreign Direct Investment in multibrand retail, Ms. Mayawati said: “Much thought had gone into the BSP going along with the UPA.”

On her support to the inclusion of backward classes in the Constitution (117th) Amendment Bill for reservation to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in promotion in government jobs, she said that if it was done through a separate Bill, the BSP would back it.

On the occasion, Ms. Mayawati released the eighth volume of her book, “A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement-Volume 8,” which will serve as a “blue book” for the party. English and Hindi versions were released.

Keywords: MayawatiBSPThird Front