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Will the queens rule or be king-makers?

May 3, 2009 19:32 IST

Image: The powerful trio
Sunil Gatade/PTI

With the election expected to throw a hung verdict, talk is on whether Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalithaa -- the country's powerful women politicians -- will become king-makers or would one of them end up ruling?

BSP supremo Mayawati, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee have been at the centre of intense debate in political circles on which way they will go after May 16, the day of election results.

Maya's Delhi ambitions are very clear

Image: Mayawati gestures to media persons after casting her vote

Mayawati's BSP is contesting all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, besides in other constituencies across the country. Her party won 19 seats in the state in 2004.

Mayawati, who has made her prime ministerial ambitions clear, is part of the non-Congress, non-BJP Third Front. A former Municipal school teacher, Mayawati is no pushover and considers herself far bigger in stature than Congress President Sonia Gandhi

Mamata back in the reckoning?

Image: Mamata waves to the crowd at an election rally

Mamata, who had broken away from the Congress earlier, has now struck an alliance with that party in West Bengal. The mercurial leader was part of the BJP-led NDA till a while ago.

The Trinamool Congress is contesting 28 of the 42 seats in West Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee has moved closer to Congress ever since the Left withdrew support to the UPA government at the Centre over the civil nuclear deal with US. The talk of Congress willing to reach out to the Left parties in the post-poll scenario has not gone down well with Mamata.

Jaya's hopes are pinned on Third Front

Image: Jayalalithaa addresses media persons

Jayalalithaa s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam too is part of the Front led by the Left parties.

In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK has fielded candidates from 23 out of 39 seats while leaving the rest to alliance partners. Her party had failed to get even a single seat last time, as the DMK-Congress combine had made a clean sweep.

In the past, Jayalalithaa has shared power with the BJP at the Centre. Recently, she had endorsed the candidature of NCP chief Sharad Pawar for the post of prime minister.