BSP in touch with both Cong, BJP in Uttarakhand

Giving a new twist to the race for power in Uttarakhand, BSP, whose three MLAs can tilt the balance said it was in touch with both Congress and BJP.

Dehradun: Giving a new twist to the race for
power in Uttarakhand, BSP, whose three MLAs can tilt the
balance, tonight said it was in touch with both Congress and
BJP as the two rival contenders for power claimed they will
form the next government.

"We are in touch with both BJP and Congress," said state
BSP President Surajmal.

He maintained the party would take a decision on the
issue of extending support only after consultations with BSP
supremo Mayawati.
Both Congress and BJP are wooing BSP and 3 independent
MLAs in order to muster the majority in the 70-member assembly
following a fractured electoral mandate. Regional outfit
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal has one MLA.

Congress got 32 seats and BJP 31 with both falling short
of the magic figure of 36.

Surajmal denied a Congress` claim that BSP has already
extended its support to its bid to form government.
"Congress is in the habit of spreading such rumours," he
said, adding "whatever direction comes from Mayawatiji, we
will follow".

Congress said it would form the government in the hill
state after the new CLP leader is chosen by the party high

"Let the new leader be chosen by the party high command,
thereafter we will form government also," said state PCC chief
Yashpal Arya, a day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi was
authorised to choose the new leader of the Congress
Legislature Party (CLP).

Aryna and senior BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari
understood to have got in touch with Sarbat Karim Ansari, a
BSP MLA from Mangalore.

Congress, which is moving close to form new government,
also claimed it has mustered the required numbers for the

"We have all the numbers which are enough to form new
government," Arya told reporters here.

BJP too claimed it will form the next government and
continue to be in power.

"We will play Holi in Uttarakhand...Congress will not be
able to form government there," BJP general secretary Ananth
Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.

Arya said a group of observers is also being sent by
the party high command to Dehradun to take views of the newly
elected MLAs.

In the last night meeting of the CLP, Congress General
Secretary and in-charge of party affairs in the state,
Chaudhary Berendra Singh also held separate talks with a host
of newly elected party MLAs in this regard, party sources

Arya said once the CLP`s new leader is announced, the
party would stake claim before Governor Margaret Alva for the
formation of the new government.