Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati revoked the expulsion of two rebels and inducted the lone Trinamool Congress legislator shortly after senior leader Swami Prasad Maurya’s revolt at a legislature party meeting.
“There is hardly any precedent in the BSP of re-opening doors to its expelled MLAs or leaders,” said a senior BSP leader.
The development came after Maurya claimed that only 55 of the 80 MLAs turned up for a legislature party meeting called by the four-time former chief minister. In addition, the scheduled time of the meeting had to be extended twice to call up the legislators — only 35 MLAs had shown up initially.
The expulsion orders of Pallia (Lakhimpur Kheri) MLA Harvinder Kumar Sahani aka Romi Sahani and Bilgram Mallava (Hardoi) legislator Brijesh Kumar Verma were withdrawn.
The party’s national general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui had last week said that Sahni and Verma were expelled for indulging in anti-party activities, but later announced that the two MLAs had been re-inducted in the party.
SHOW OF STRENGTH
To send a message to the party cadre that Maurya’s revolt had not dented her support base, Mayawati announced the induction of the lone Trinamool Congress MLA, Shyam Shunder Sharma, into the BSP.
Being party leader of state, the seven-time MLA from Mant assembly constituency in Mathura claimed it was a merger of his party with the BSP and that a letter to this effect had been forwarded to Speaker of legislative assembly, Mata Prasad Pandey, on Saturday.
“I have submitted a formal letter of merger of TMC in Bahujan Samaj Party after permission attained from BSP leader Mayawati,” said Sharma, adding that it was only the BSP that could fight against communal forces and weed out “goonda raj”.
Mayawati’s official residence at 13 Mall Avenue was humming with activity since early morning on Saturday as top party leaders marked the attendance of MLAs who had arrived to participate in the legislature party meeting.
SENIOR LEADERS ON TENTERHOOKS
Fearing that more MLAs might revolt, senior leaders kept a check on their activities and instructed them to reach the state unit office before the start of the meeting.
SC Mishra and Siddiqui updated Mayawati about the arrival of the MLAs in the party office. Anxiety was clear on the faces of the BSP leaders when out of 80 MLAs merely 35 MLAs turned up by 10 am. The meeting was scheduled for 10:30 am.
The BSP leaders swung into action and phoned the missing MLAs to know their whereabouts. And the zonal coordinators were mobilised to contact the MLAs of their respective zones.
The time of the meeting was extended to 11 am to ensure greater attendance. The time was revised a second time to noon, and the zonal coordinators were seen escorting the MLAs to the meeting hall. Siddiqui claimed that all the MLAs, except those expelled from the party, were present.
But rebel BSP leader Maurya countered the claim, stating that only 55 MLAs turned up for the meeting. “My rebellion has forced Mayawati to bow before the rebel MLAs,” he said. “A majority of the rebel MLAs are in touch with me.”