After Mayawati says she will not contest Lok Sabha polls, she hints she could still become PM

File photo: BSP chief Mayawati. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 21, 2019, 01.14 PM (IST)

BSP supremo Mayawati said on Wednesday that she will not be contesting the Lok Sabha polls but later told her supporters not to be "disheartened". 

For, she seemed to hint, she could still become prime minister. 

"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," Mayawati tweeted. 

"Don't disheartened (sic) from my decision not to contest LS poll now," she added. 

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a good example of a prime minister who became a member of parliament after assuming the office of PM. Singh was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam. 

Mayawati said Wednesday that she had resigned from the Rajya Sabha to devote herself to the party, and that she would like to do the same thing again. 

WION's Political Editor Kartikeya Sharma quoted party insiders as saying Mayawati was opting out of the elections because she did not want to be tied down to one constituency but would instead like to concentrate on campaigning for the party. She is expected to campaign outside of her bastion of Uttar Pradesh. 

Sharma added that Mayawati also wanted to keep open the option of contesting the 2022 assembly elections. 

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Having said that, there is also the fact that Mayawati has ceded at least some space to new Dalit leaders like the Bhim Army's Chandrashekhar Azad and the Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani. And, said Sharma, should her victory margins now be less than impressive, that will further pull down her stature. 

Story highlights

'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,' Mayawati tweeted.