Dozens of protesters arrived at the office of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Raj Nagar District Centre (RDC) in Ghaziabad and blamed the party’s general secretary and western UP in-charge Naseemuddin Siddiqui for the recent drubbing in UP assembly elections.
The protesters also demanded his ouster but markedly refrained from targeting party chief Mayawati.
Since Saturday afternoon, protesters started gathering outside the party office in Ghaziabad and shouted slogans against Siddiqui and also tried to burn his effigy. However, they were stopped by the police.
“Siddiqui has ruined the party and we demand his ouster. He misled the party chief and sold tickets to the highest bidders. We are appalled by the defeat in the recent elections and he should be expelled from the party. We demand a change in the party, otherwise we will continue to protest,” said Sachin Siddharth, who claimed to be party worker.
“Despite the loss, we will continue to vote for the party. Behanji (Mayawati) should clean the party now. Siddiqui did not take party workers into confidence before the ticket distribution. He was not aware of the ground realities and acted in an arbitrary manner. All this led to loss for the party in the elections and workers suffered despite working very hard for the party,” said Brij Gautam, another protester.
The protesters claimed that they have come from western UP districts and also submitted a memorandum to the BSP office bearers. BSP district president Premchand Bharti tried to play down the incident.
“These protesters were not from the party and had come with some ill-intent to malign the image of our leaders. On one hand, they were hailing the BSP and party chief Mayawati, and on the other hand, they are levying allegations against our leaders. We prefer to ignore such protests,” he said.
This is not the first time that protesters have levied allegations against BSP party leaders. Earlier, BSP MLA Amarpal Sharma also alleged that the party leadership took money for ticket distribution.
His allegations came after he was expelled from the BSP on charges of “anti-party activities” ahead of UP polls. Later, Sharma joined the Congress and contested from Sahibabad assembly segment where he was defeated by BJP candidate Sunil Sharma. Siddiqui had rubbished these allegations as well.
This election, the BSP fared poorly and suffered a heavy loss. It could only win 19 of the 403 seats with a 22.2% vote share. In the 2012 elections, the BSP was ousted from power by Samajwadi Party and the party could gather only 80 seats.