In a surprise move, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati suspended its two MLA's including cabinet minister Surendra Rakesh on Friday. The duo - Haridas and Rakesh - has been axed for indulging in anti party activities.
Indeed for the quiet some time they were neither attending party functions nor entertaining BSP workers. As a result pressure was building on BSP to take action against erring MLA's.
"Party president has suspended Surendra Rakesh and Haridas for the anti party activities. There were number of complaints against both," confirmed Meghraj Jaraware, state BSP president to HT on Friday.
After the 2012 assembly polls in the state, BSP decided to extend support to Congress led coalition government. BSP has three MLA's in state assembly including Surendra Rakesh, Haridas and Sarbat Kareem Ansari. Incidentally all three MLA's represents respective seats in Haridwar district.
In fact Surendra Rakesh managed to become cabinet minister in the government. Rakesh close ally Haridas though could not make in the cabinet - but he always remained equally powerful in the Vijay Bahuguna government. In the due course of time both MLA's remained prominent in the Bahuguna government and their proximity with Congress surprised many in the BSP.
Subsequently both denied attending party functions and even skipped Mayawati rally in Lucknow last year. Such political developments gave enough reason to believe that duo BSP MLA's are ready to join Congress in near future.
Interestingly the third BSP MLA Sarbat Karim Ansari remained loyal with the party. He seems happy with the party decision to axe both.
"The BSP cadres were frustrated for long since two MLA's were spoiling party. We are hopeful that good time are ahead for BSP," said Ansari.
HT tried to contact cabinet minister Rakesh but his associates told he is in Singapore. Haridas' phone was also not reachable.
In fact, a section in BSP blames Congress for chinks in party. They say erstwhile chief minister Vijay Bahuguna gave enough room to both MLA's since he wanted to minimise the influence of Haridwar MP Harish Rawat (now CM). In the changed political scenario Rawat is now at the helm of affairs.
It is not clear whether the Congress will adopt suspended the BSP MLA' s or play the same game which BSP MLA's played with their own party.
Haridwar is BSP's stronghold area. With an eye on 34% Muslim population party has fielded a Muslim Md Islam from Haridwar parliamentary constituency. He is pinning hopes on magic combination of Muslims and dalits.