LUCKNOW, Jan 29: Rahul Gandhi today appeared soft on Bahujan Samaj Party stating that his respect for Mayawati at personal level is “intact”.
“BSP government might have committed mistakes. I personally respect Mayawatiji. I respect Kanshi Ram also and there can be no comparison between Mayawati and BJP,” he said.
The Congress vice president was replying to a question about the possibility of an alliance with BSP in the future at a press conference here addressed jointly by him and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.
“BSP ran government and had committed mistakes but the respect is intact… There is a lot of difference between BJP and BSP. BJP’s ideology is harmful to the country but Mayawati’s ideology is not. Do not compare Maywatiji with RSS,” he said praising the BSP supremo.
Asked if BSP could also be taken along in the alliance against BJP, Akhilesh light-heartedly said, Mayawati, whose party’s symbol is elephant, will “require a lot of space”.
When Akhilesh was reminded that he used to refer to Mayawati as “buaji” (aunt), the SP leader said, “Now I am not saying that any longer. You have not heard it from me now.”
To a question on Congress’ earlier foray with BSP in the 1996 assembly polls after which its number of seats decreased, Gandhi said, “History is not static and keeps changing and saying that alliance in 1996 with BSP was wrong and so it will be wrong this (alliance with SP) time too… Situation is different now and it is right strategically for the state, the country as well as for Samajwadis.” (PTI)