Ex-colleagues give Maya stiff fight

Ex-colleagues give Maya stiff fight
Nurturing a dream to capture Uttar Pradesh, BSP supremo Mayawati faces a stiff challenge from her own colleagues, who till the other day were at her beck and call, in around 50  seats in the forthcoming Assembly polls in the state. Many of her colleagues, who once formed part of her core team and were considered to be her advisers, are now in the fray from rival parties.

Swami Prasad Maurya, who was the leader of the BSP legislature party in the Assembly,  is now the BJP nominee from Padaruna seat in Kushinagar seat after he switched loyalties. The BSP candidate there is a little known person and was no match for Maurya. Another close aide of Mayawati and one of the prominent Brahmin faces of the BSP, Brijesh Pathak also deserted the party barely a few months before the polls. He is now in the fray from Lucknow Central Assembly seat as a BJP nominee. Another Brahmin leader of the party Rajesh Tripathi also joined the BJP and is nominated from Chillupar Assembly seat in Gorakhpur.

One of the founders of the BSP, R K Chaudhary, also switched loyalties days before the polls and is now contesting as an independent candidate from Mohalalaganj seat in Lucknow. In addition, about two dozen BSP legislators have crossed over after the announcement of the Assembly polls schedule, severely denting the BSP’s prospects. Many of these legislators had managed to save their seats in 2012, when Akhilesh Yadav had led his Samajwadi Party (SP) to a massive win.

“Many of the former BSP leaders will pose serious challenge before the party nominees in their respective areas. They may prove to be the biggest impediment in Mayawati’s way to occupy the top post in the state,”  a senior state BJP leader remarked.

BSP leader Gaya Charan Dinkar, however, asserts that those who leave BSP fail to sway the supporters of the party. “The leaders may leave the party but the supporters remain loyal,” Dinkar, said. It will be interesting to see if the BSP deserters will be able to damage the party’s poll prospects.
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