Clearly angered by the blow to her prime ministerial aspirations, Bahujan Samaj Party president and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Saturday sought to blame her party's dismal showing in the Lok Sabha election on non-cooperation by Muslims and the "conspiracy" by different parties.
"Very few Muslims voted for my party this time," she told a hurriedly convened press conference at her home in Lucknow. "We got the support of the Muslim community only in constituencies where we fielded Muslim candidates," she added.
"Not only Muslims, but even other supporters of our party were misguided by the Opposition parties who ganged up against the BSP," she alleged.
"The Samajwadi Party, the Congress as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party joined hands to ensure that we were kept away from staking any kind of claim to power at the Centre," claimed the irate BSP supremo.
Interestingly, while giving her reasons for non-cooperation by Muslim voters, she alleged, "The Opposition also sponsored a misinformation campaign to misguide Muslims that the BSP would once again align with the BJP as it had done on three occasions in the past."
Mayawati refused to take any questions. However, reading out a statement, she sought to claim that her party had actually not done all that badly in the election. "After all, our tally has not gone down from where we stood in 2004 and where the vote share is concerned, it is amply clear now that the BSP has emerged as the third largest party at the national level -- after the Congress and BJP."
"As against a vote share of 5.3 per cent in the 2004 Lok Sabha election," she said, "our vote share has gone up to 6.4 per cent at the national level while it is up at the state level from 24.6 per cent in the 2007 assembly election to 27 per cent this time."
As if to convey that she is still open to the idea of supporting a non-BJP regime at the Centre, Mayawati concluded by pointing out, "As for our future course of action, let me make it loud and clear that we will never join hands with communal forces."