WHILE POLITICAL parties have started gearing up for the Vidhan Sabha election, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati has gone on an expulsion spree.
Already, half-a-dozen MPs and MLAs have been shown the door. According to sources in the BSP, more will follow suit, as some heavyweight leaders want to have their say in selection of candidates.
A few months ago, Mayawati expelled Padrauna MP Baleshwar Yadav, Rajya Sabha MP Isam Singh, and former MP DP Yadav. After that, it was the turn of Fatehabad (Agra) MLA Chotelal Verma.
On Friday, she suspended Khalilabad MP Bhalchandra Yadav.
The reason for suspension or expulsion of all the MPs and MLAs was the same:
indiscipline and involvement in anti-party activities. But the expelled leaders charged they became eyesores for the party chief after they opposed her “highhandedness and dictatorial attitude” in managing party affairs.
DP Yadav, Baleshwar Yadav and Bhalchandra Yadav had joined the BSP after the Samajwadi Party refused them a ticket. But, within a year or two, they fell out with Mayawati.
Along with Baleshwar, Bhalchandra and DP Yadav, three more powerful Yadav leaders joined the BSP before the Lok Sabha election in 2004.
They were: Azamgarh MP Ramakant Yadav, Macchlishahr MP Umakant Yadav and Faizabad MP Mitrasen Yadav.
Mayawati had planned to use the influence of these leaders to woo Yadavs.
These leaders were directed to organise rallies in Yadav- dominated areas and win over Yadavs from the SP. All the six MPs have addressed public meetings and organised Yadav ‘jodo’ programmes in several districts. The BSP leaders admit that with the ouster of three MPs, the party’s move to make inroads in the community has suffered a setback.
The BSP has already started selection of candidates for the Vidhan Sabha election. During her earlier visit to Lucknow, Mayawati announced the name of 300 probables. Though five months are left for the polls, the names of several candidates have already been dropped. The name of sitting MLA from Unnao Dileep Singh Sengar figured in an earlier list. But recently the party announced the name of another candidate for the Unnao seat.
Mayawati said that she was collecting information from coordinators and cadres about “whether candidates can win an election and remain loyal to the BSP ideology after victory. If there is adverse report from coordinators, such candidates will be dropped”.