No decision on BSP’s inclusion in INDIA until clarity on whose side Mayawati is: Sharad Pawar

Mumbai:┬áNoting that the BSP had held a dialogue with the BJP in the past, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said no decision on the Mayawati-led party’s inclusion in INDIA bloc can be taken until there is clarity on whose side she is on.

His remarks at a joint press conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here come amid speculation that Mayawati and the INDIA bloc could be in touch for a possible inclusion of the party, though sources on both sides have denied any such consideration.

Asked about Mayawati’s statement that she is neutral, Pawar said, “There is no clarity on which side Mayawati is. She has had a dialogue with BJP in the past. I am not saying she would do that now also. But unless there is clarity on this, no decision can be taken.” Earlier in the day, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said all parties are eager for an alliance with the BSP but there is “no question” of her party joining hands with either the BJP-led NDA or the opposition’s INDIA alliance.

She made the comments in a series of posts on microblogging site X, a day ahead of the INDIA alliance’s meeting in Mumbai during which the opposition leaders are expected to chalk out a joint campaign strategy to take on the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Mayawati claimed that both the NDA and the INDIA blocs consist of parties most of which have “anti-poor, casteist, communal, pro-rich and capitalist policies” against which the BSP’s struggle continues.

“That is why the question of contesting elections in alliance with them does not arise. Hence I appeal to the media: No fake news please,” she said.