After Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati attacked the Congress for subsuming the BSP legislators in Rajasthan and said she was waiting for the right time to teach Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot a lesson, the Congress, hits back saying she was playing into the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Senior Congress leader P.L. Punia said, “Mayawati is playing the BJP game to save herself and her brother from the corruption cases against them.”
The BSP issued a whip to “its MLAs” to vote against the Gehlot government, but they had formally merged their group with the Congress, he said.
He said Mayawati was rattled as Dalits in Uttar Pradesh had lost faith in the BSP and were shifting towards the Congress as the party was raising the issue of Dalits and poor. The Congress had taken on other opposition parties in UP and was trying to position itself as the main opponent in the state, he added.
The party has pitched Punia and the state party president to attract Dalits and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) into the party-fold. Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada is wooing Brahmins through an organisation.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also criticised the BSP leader and called her unannounced spokesperson of the BJP without taking her name.
Vishwanath Chaturvedi, another Congress leader, said the BSP had become a frontal organisation of the BJP and Mayawati was inclining towards the BJP again. In the past too, she had allied with the BJP, he added.
Mayawati’s relations with the Congress soured after six BSP legislators merged their group the Congress in September 2019 and also supported it during the recent Rajya Sabha polls.
The Rajasthan Speaker had on September 18, 2019 declared complete the BSP legislators merger with the Congress.
Madanlal Dilawar, a BJP legislator, has also petitioned the high court on the issue. Dilawar in his plea has challenged the Rajasthan Speaker’s July 24 decision to dismiss his plea, demanding disqualification of BSP legislators under the anti-defection law.
Interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday appointed district and city party presidents for 17 districts in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress president has appointed heads of party units in Lucknow, Bahraich, Gonda, Gonda city, Badaun , Badaun city, Pilibhit, Kasganj, Mirzapur, Gorakhpur, Sonbhadra, Jalaun, Azamgarh, Unnao, Lakhimpur, Modinagar (Ghaziabad) and Mughalsarai (Chandauli).
In February this year, Sonia Gandhi had approved the proposal for creating new city Congress Committees in Azamgarh, Sultanpur, Robertsganj (Sonbhadra) districts in Uttar Pradesh.
In October last year, the Congress had revamped the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, appointing party MLA Ajay Kumar Lallu as its chief and Aradhana Mishra as the leader of the legislative party.
The Congress in UP has been saddled with a non-existent organisation and is fraught with infighting.
The appointment of district presidents is now being seen as an effort by the party high command to strengthen the organisational base of the party, ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress will also test the waters when it contests the panchayat elections, scheduled to be held at the end of the year. (IANS)