Rebellions and defections derail BSP’s revival plan
To galvanise the organisation for electoral battle, Mayawati had earlier decided to hold meetings of workers across the state from September 18. She had planned to cash in on her resignation from the Rajya Sabha to mobilise Dalits.lucknow Updated: Aug 04, 2017 16:47 IST
The rebellion of close aide Indrajit Saroj and defection of Thakur Jaiveer Singh is likely to hit the plan of BSP president Mayawati to gear up the party cadre for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
To galvanise the organisation for electoral battle, Mayawati had earlier decided to hold meetings of workers across the state from September 18. She had planned to cash in on her resignation from the Rajya Sabha to mobilise Dalits.
The party leaders had been asked to launch a drive to raise funds in 403 assembly constituencies before the workers’ conference. In a meeting held on July 8, Mayawati had set the target for each assembly constituency.
The revolt of Saroj and defection of Singh is likely to puncture the fund raising drive and dampen Mayawati’s plan to garner support from Pasi and Thakur communities.
“We are facing tough resistance from workers at the ground level. In some districts the fund raising drive has been suspended,” a senior BSP leader told HT.
“After Saroj rose in rebellion, a large number of leaders and workers have resigned from the BSP,” he said.
“Local leaders and workers are not ready to donate to the party fund. They said ‘behenji’ is aware that party members mobilised resources in the 2017 assembly election. The humiliating defeat has shattered them and the hope of return to power is remote,” he said.
Indrajit Saroj had claimed that he was asked to donate Rs 15 lakh to the party fund and when he refused, the BSP president relieved him of all the responsibilities of the organisation.
Mayawati had announced that the BSP would contest urban local bodies election on party symbol and had planned workers’ meetings accordingly.
As a damage control exercise, Mayawati has convened a meeting of party leaders in Lucknow on August 10.
“A year and a half is left in Lok Sabha election but Mayawati has not made her stand clear on joining the grand alliance,” said SK Singh, a political observer.
“The Congress leadership as well as RJD’s Lalu Yadav have sent feelers to her as well as SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to join the alliance. She has been invited to the August 27 rally organised by Lalu. The alliance leader has also offered her to contest the by-poll on Phulpur Lok Sabha seat which is likely to be vacated by deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. Mayawati is yet to open her cards,” he said.
“She is sending conflicting signals as she supported the UPA candidate Meira Kumar in the presidential election but decided to contest urban local bodies’ polls on his own strength. She has also started selecting candidates for Lok Sabha elections,” Singh said.
He said desertion by senior leaders had weakened the BSP and the opposition leaders were hopeful that she might join the alliance to counter the saffron brigade.