Bangalore: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, aspiring to become the prime minister after the Lok Sabha elections, will have her first meeting with Third Front leaders on Sunday.
Two of the main forces behind the Third Front, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Communist Party of India (CPI) gave contradictory indications on Friday on whether the group will go to the polls in April-May with a prime ministerial candidate or decide on it after the results.
JD-S Karnataka president H D Kumaraswamy said here that his party had no objection to Mayawati becoming the prime minister. The issue may come up during the March 15 meeting of the Third Front leaders in New Delhi, he said.
Mayawati may host a dinner for the Front leaders in the national capital as the day coincides with the birth anniversary of her mentor and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram.
But CPI general secretary A B Bardhan told reporters in Bhubaneswar that the Front will decide who would be the prime minister only after the elections.
Speculation that Mayawati is insisting that the Front declare her prime ministerial candidate stems from her representative Satish Mishra's remarks at Thursday's public rally near Tumkur, around 60 km from here, at the launch of the Third Front.
Mishra said the BSP aims to make Mayawati prime minister. He did not give any indication that she would be part of the Front only if she is the prime ministerial candidate of the group.
Kumaraswamy said his father, JD-S president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda had already stated the party will support Mayawati as prime minister.
He said the Front leaders would meet in New Delhi on March 15 and may decide who will be the prime ministerial candidate. “The Third Front has collective leadership. Each member of the Front has its own strength,” Kumaraswamy added.
Bardhan had said on Thursday: “We do not think it is important to project a PM candidate. We have several leaders who are very good prime ministerial material. But we will decide after the polls.”