Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh is heading towards a vertical split with 11 of its elected legislators meeting assembly speaker. The party president Mayawati suspended these legislators from time to time in the last one year. On Tuesday, these legislators also met with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The rebel BSP legislator Aslam Raini on Tuesday claimed that they might form a new party very soon. He said former leader of BSP legislators in the state assembly Lalji Verma would head the new party. Raini said that 11 BSP legislators have joined hand so far to form a new party and now they need only one more. BSP had 18 legislators in the state assembly of which 11 have so far deserted.
Earlier on Tuesday, nine BSP legislators had visited SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav secretly to discuss future course of action. When asked about the outcome of the meeting Raini said that they are free to meet anyone. He however said that now it is up to Lalji Verma to decide about the name and fate of new party.
Mayawati expelled Lalji Verma along with another senior BSP leader Ram Achal Rajbhar from party last week on the charges of working against the organization in the recently held panchayat elections. Lalji Verma, a former minister in Mayawati cabinet, was the leader of BSP legislators in the assembly. He was replaced by another BSP legislator Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali. With continuous desertion from the party, the effective strength of BSP in the state assembly has been reduced to seven only as against 18 it won in the 2017 elections.
It may be mentioned that during the Rajya Sabha elections last year, seven BSP MLAs had deserted to join Samajwadi camp. At that time BSP MLAs Aslam Raini, Mayawati expelled Aslam Ali, Muztaba Siddiqui, Hakim Lal Bind, Hargobind Bhargava, Sushma Patel and Vandana Singh from the party. These MLAs were annoyed with party chief for taking support of Bhartiya Janta Party in Rajya Sabha elections. So annoyed were these legislators that they had even withdrawn the set of nomination papers of BSP Rajya Sabha nominee Ramji Gautam. However, BSP with the support of BJP could manage to get one seat in Rajya Sabha despite having fewer legislators to its side.
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