Those SP days! Maya with Akhilesh.

Those SP days! Maya with Akhilesh.

Why BSP is a party prone to splits?

BSP claims to be party of Dalits; our leaders in LS and RS both Brahmins: MLA

Agency Report | Lucknow | 28 October, 2020 | 11:40 PM

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has a tendency to split at regular intervals and the revolt of five MLAs on Wednesday is the fourth in the series.

The first split in the BSP took place in June 1995, hours after the infamous state guesthouse incident where BSP MLAs were allegedly locked inside by Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders for almost 30 hours.

Though the incident led to the dismissal of the then Mulayam Singh government with its ally, BSP, withdrawing support, it also marked the first split in the BSP since its formation in 1984.

The party lost founding members like Raj Bahadur in this split.

The BSP again witnessed a major split in October 1997 when Mayawati withdrew support from the Kalyan Singh government.

The BJP-BSP government had been formed on a rotational basis with each party having the Chief Minister’s post for six months.

Rajnath Singh, who was then the state BJP President, used his political skills to split the Congress and the BSP to save the Kalyan Singh government.

The BSP lost 19 of its MLAs to the BJP and the rebels formed the Jantantrik Bahujan Samaj Party that extended support to the BJP government. All the 19 rebels went on to become ministers in the Kalyan Singh government.

In 2003, it was a replay of the same when Mayawati pulled out of the BJP-BSP coalition and 37 BSP MLAs crossed over to support Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had staked claim to form the government.

Each time the party faced a split, the breakaway leaders blamed Mayawati’s arrogance and inaccessibility for their moving away.

One such former BSP leader said, “There was never any problem in BSP till the time Kanshi Ram was active. Like a true leader, he remained connected to the party cadres, but things changed when Mayawati took over the reins.

“She stopped meeting party workers, did not listen to party legislators and even the ministers were subjected to humiliation. She invariably took major decisions without even informing the other leaders. You can run a household in this manner, but not a political party.”

In between these splits, stalwarts like Barkhu Ram Varma, R.K. Chaudhary, Jung Bahadur Patel, Ram Lakhan Varma, Babu Singh Kushwaha, Daddu Prasad and Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who were leaders of their respective caste groups, have moved out of the BSP which now has no second rung leadership left.

On Wednesday, five legislators of the BSP withdrew their support to the BSP’s official candidate, Ramji Gautam, for the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.

The five legislators informed the returning officers that their signatures as proposers for Gautam were forged.

Immediately after informing the returning officer, the five legislators — Aslam Chaudhary, Aslam Raini, Muztaba Siddiqui, Hakam Lal Bind and Govind Jatav — went straight to the Samajwadi Party office to meet SP President Akhilesh Yadav.

One of the legislators, who revolted on Wednesday, said, “The BSP claims to be a party of Dalits but our leaders in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are both Brahmins. Does this not speak volumes about the state of the party?”