Mayawati to be next Indian PM: pollster (Lead)

February 23rd, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyLondon, Feb 23 (IANS) The coming Indian general elections are likely to lead to a Left-leaning government led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and supported from the outside by either the Congress or the BJP, a leading pollster predicted Monday.

Yashwant Deshmukh, who runs the Team Cvoter polling firm and has covered more than 100 state and national elections in India, will tell leading British politicians this week that neither the Congress nor the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be able to win a majority in elections to the Lok Sabha.

In fact, he believes that both parties will see their number of seats dramatically reduced.

“I am looking at the possibility of Mayawati leading a government of an assortment of political parties, barring the Samajwadi Party,” he told IANS ahead of Wednesday’s House of Commons briefing for British MPs, members of thinktanks and businessmen and investors.

“This government would be formed with either inside- or outside-support from the Left parties. But it will need the support of either the Congress or the BJP from the outside.

“In the current scenario either of them will do it because no one wants to be seen as trying to stop a Dalit woman from becoming prime minister. Coming in her way would be committing political harakiri.”

Deshmukh said the post-election scenario was less clear than in previous years, but predicted: “This time round the Congress party will be the loser and the BJP will be the even bigger loser. Both will all need to give away a lot of power if they’re going to even come close to a majority.”

Vikas Pota, managing director of the public relations firm Saffron Chase, which is organising the briefing, said the elections were expected to lead to a slowdown in the process of liberalisation in India.

“It seems that the current world recession is leading to protectionist language from all nations. It will be difficult to grow the insurance, retail and banking sectors as a result,” he told The Guardian newspaper.

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