Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has opened the door of her party for all those who had either been expelled by her or deserted her in the past. She is apparently looking for a comeback in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections after her party was defeated in Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll last year.
According to BSP leaders, Mayawati has instructed district coordinators of the party to welcome all such leaders into the party fold provided they do not have a criminal past.
“We have established contacts with many leaders who had been expelled by Mayawati during the past few years for one or other reasons. Many of them now want to return and we have been directed to make things easy for them,” a senior BSP told Deccan Herald.
Notable among those who have returned to the BSP in the past few days is former minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi who was expelled after the state Lokayukta recommended that he be prosecuted for indulging in corrupt practices.
At the fag end of her tenure, the BSP supremo, in a desperate bid to refurbish the image of her party, had expelled more than a dozen senior leaders, including several ministers, after their indictment by the Lokayukta.
Mayawati apparently wanted to send the message that her party was against corruption and would not hesitate in acting against even the senior leaders.
“We had to pay a heavy price for acting against them. The party lost many seats in the 2012 Assembly elections,” the leader said.
He said the BSP would stand to gain by the return of these leaders. “Mayawati is looking to make a comeback and she will leave no stone unturned for that,” he added.
“Our Dalit vote bank is intact by and large. We only need to win back the support of the Brahmin and Muslim voters. The return of leaders like Tripathi is aimed at reassuring the Brahmins that the BSP wants to take them along,” he said.
The leader said a large number of leaders are likely to return to the party in the next few months.
The BSP, which had formed government on its own after 2007 Assembly polls, could secure only 100 seats in last year’s elections.