BSP withdraws support to UPA

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Special Correspondent

Mayawati rules out poll alliance with BJP

NEW DELHI: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Saturday withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. However, the 17 BSP members in the Lok Sabha are not critical to the survival of the UPA as of now.

Announcing the decision in the capital, BSP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati ruled out a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “The BSP has never had an electoral alliance with the BJP and we will never have one in the future. As far as we are concerned, the BJP and the Congress are two sides of the same coin.”

As for the reasons for withdrawing support to the UPA, she cited the continuance of the Taj Corridor case, besides the Centre’s failure to address the grievances of the common man and its “step-motherly treatment” of her State.

Ahead of announcing the withdrawal of support — something Ms. Mayawati has been threatening to do since January 15 this year — the BSP sent letters to the President, the UPA chairperson, the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman informing them of the party’s decision.

In the four-page letter to the President, the BSP detailed the circumstances which influenced the party to extend outside support to the UPA on May 22, 2004, and the compulsions that forced it to review its decision on Saturday. Pointing out that the BSP had offered support to the UPA to weaken communal forces, Ms. Mayawati said she had hoped that the Congress-led coalition would promote the interests of all sections.

Plight of the poor

“However, the UPA has failed to meet the aspirations of the poor. The plight of the poor has worsened because of the flawed economic policies of the government.”

On the “step-motherly” attitude of the Centre to Uttar Pradesh, she said that despite several petitions to the Prime Minister, the government had not conceded the demand for a Special Area Incentive Package for Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand.

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