Fresh jolt to BSP as Mayawati's trusted lieutenant quits

Fresh jolt to BSP as Mayawati's trusted lieutenant quits

Fresh jolt to BSP as Mayawati's trusted lieutenant quits
 In a second setback to BSP in as many weeks, party supremo Mayawati's once trusted lieutenant and former minister RK Chaudhary quit today, accusing her of "auctioning" tickets for Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

An unfazed BSP, however, downplayed 57-year-old Chaudhary's resignation, saying it will have no impact on the party.

"At election time, tickets are allotted to the person who pays the highest amount," he alleged at a hurriedly convened press conference to announce his resignation.

He said since the death of party founder Kanshi Ram, there has been a marked change in the working style of Mayawati and that veteran leaders, who functioned with missionary zeal, were not given adequate weightage.

Senior BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya quit the party on June 22, saying he felt "suffocated" and accusing the party chief of "auctioning" tickets for the polls.

Hours after Chaudhary's announcement, state BSP chief Ram Achal Rajbhar said his resignation will have no impact on the party and described the rebel leader as "selfish".

"There is no place for selfish people in BSP...Chaudhary was expelled earlier too for his selfish motives...his departure had no effect earlier and will not have any impact this time too," he said.

Chaudhary said Kanshi Ram had united different castes under one banner and evolved them into a group which could not be "sold" and due to his concerted efforts, a vote bank was created in all Assembly constituencies in UP.

"But after Kanshi Ram, Mayawati started eyeing this non- saleable votebank and began selling tickets and BSP became a 'mandi' (wholesale market) for ticket selling...Under such circumstances, the party is no longer the mission of social change," he said in hard-hitting remarks.

Senior BSP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Naseemudin Siddiqui said till the time Chaudhary was in BSP, the party could not form majority government.

"Now we will form majority government in the state," he said, adding, "In the past too, BSP came to power only after Chaudhary was expelled from BSP."

Alleging that BSP has deviated from the ideology of its ideologues, Chaudhary said capitalists have now come to the forefront.

"I have to resign from the party out of complusion... Many more will leave it in times to come," he said, adding he will hold a meeting of his supporters on July 11 and chalk out his future course of action.

A known Kanshi Ram loyalist, Chaudhary, along with senior leaders Barkhu Ram Verma and Krisna Pal Singh, was expelled by the BSP chief on July 21, 2001 for opposing the party's stand on reservation to the most backwards and Dalits.

He, however, returned to the party on April 12, 2013 after over 11 years and is perhaps the only leader to be reinstated and given the key post of coordinator after a long hiatus.

When he was out of BSP, he had floated Rashtriya Swabhiman Party and had extended support to then Samajwadi Party government led by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Chaudhary was among the oldest BSP members and had stood by Mayawati on June 2, 1995 when she was allegedly attacked by Samajwadi Party workers in the State Guest House here.

Rajbhar said Chaudhary had returned to the party after apologising for his mistakes and was also fielded in Lok Sabha polls in 2014 from Mohanlalganj.

In view of the "favourable" conditions for the party in the upcoming Assembly election, he had demanded ticket which was denied.

Ever since he was denied ticket, he had not shown much interest in party working, Rajbhar said.

Daring Chaudhary to disclose the amount he had paid for the Lok Sabha ticket, Rajbhar said his quitting will prove beneficial for BSP.

Maurya, who quit BSP on June 22, had said, "Tickets are being openly auctioned by Mayawati on a large scale. She is not making the right choice of candidates. Tickets are not only on sale in the party, they are being auctioned."

The BSP chief had slammed Maurya as a "habitual party-hopper".
Maurya had also accused Mayawati of "murdering" the values and principles of B R Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram.

Rajbhar said all "selfish" leaders were quitting the party before elections levelling baseless allegations against Mayawati which is condemnable.

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