Mayawati: Playing footsie with BJP again.

Mayawati: Playing footsie with BJP again.

Revolt in Behenji’s camp, 5 BSP MLAs join SP; unhappy with BJP tilt

Despite revolt, BSP candidate's papers declared valid; BJP clears path

Agency Report | New Delhi/Lucknow | 28 October, 2020 | 11:10 PM

An unexpected move by the Samajwadi Party in the Rajya Sabha polls catches the BJP and BSP off guard as Akhilesh Yadav first fields an independent candidate in the polls and later in a dramatic development, the proposers of the BSP candidate claim their signatures were forged.

Ahead of the assembly polls in 2022, this is considered a big jolt to the BSP and indicates the strength of the Samajwadi Party in the state as MLAs are seen to be keen to join Akhilesh Yadav. Sources say that more than 10 MLAs will cross over to the SP and the BSP is engaged in last minute fire fighting to stop the exodus.

The BSP MLAs are said to be upset over Mayawati’s bonhomie with the BJP, anticipating the voter’s mood in the next elections which is a year away, said a leader. This was evident when the BJP fielded only 8 candidates in the polls paving the way for the election of the BSP candidate unopposed.

To the surprise of the BJP, Akhilesh Yadav decided to take on the BSP and the BJP together to place the SP as the main opposition and expose the BSP’s understanding with the BJP, said a SP leader. He added that the BJP has been engineering defections in the opposition ranks whether in MP, Gujarat or other states.

One of the rebels Hakam Lal said, “Mayawati ji was against the BJP, but now with the BJP’s support she wants to send a new candidate from my constituency to the Rajya Sabha. I feel insulted, but we may consider being with the BSP if she pays heed to our concerns. “BSP MLAs are upset with the coordinators of the party,” said another MLA.

Uma Shankar Singh of the BSP has alleged that the five legislators who had rebelled against the party were being lured with “monetary benefits” and to stop Dalit leader Ramji Gautam from going to the Rajya Sabha.

BSP supremo Mayawati has also demanded action against the five MLAs for anti-party activities.

Five legislators of the Bahujan Samaj Party have withdrawn their support to the BSP’s official candidate, Ramji Gautam, in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.

They informed the returning officer 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 party president Akhilesh Yadav.

This is the first time that the BSP has faced such a major setback, and that too, from her 2019 ally, the Samajwadi Party.

On Tuesday, an Independent candidate Prakash Bajaj supported by the Samajwadi Party, had filed his nomination papers, giving a clear indication of the events of Wednesday.

In an unprecedented development, five legislators of Bahujan Samaj Party have withdrawn their support to the BSP’s official candidate, Ramji Gautam, for the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.

The dramatic development that rocked political equations on Wednesday is bound to cast its shadow on the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

On Tuesday, an Independent candidate, Prakash Bajaj, supported by Samajwadi Party, had filed his nomination papers, giving a clear indication of the events of Wednesday.

BSP MLA Uma Shankar Singh has alleged that the five legislators who had rebelled against the party were being given ‘benefits’ of a money-bag and to stop Dalit leader Ramji Gautam, from going to Rajya Sabha.
Hours after five Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs revolted against the party’s official Rajya Sabha candidate Ramji Gautam, and claimed that their signatures as proposers were forged, the returning officer declared that Gautam’s nomination papers were valid.

The returning officer, on the other hand, cancelled the nomination of Prakash Bajaj, an Independent supported by the Samajwadi Party.

The reason behind the cancellation of Bajaj’s nomination papers was that the name one proposer was given as ‘Nawab Shah’ whereas his name is ‘Nawab Jaan’.

With this development, there are now 10 candidates for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and all of them will be declared elected unopposed.

Aslam Chaudhary, one of the BSP MLAs who had claimed that the signatures were forged, said, “Everyone knows how the law is being twisted by the BJP. I have contested and won the election against the BJP and will not accept this.”

Samajwadi leader Udaiveer Singh, however, said that the cancellation of Prakash Bajaj’s papers was ‘unlawful’ and had exposed the nexus between the BSP and the BJP.

Sources said that Bajaj would approach the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday and appeal against the decision of the returning officer.

Political analysts said that the battle is not likely to be resolved soon and the ensuing battle could have far-reaching consequences on the politics of the state. (IANS)