A day after being expelled from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for anti-party activities, Sahibabad MLA Amarpal Sharma alleged that the BSP leaders had demanded ₹5 crore to allot him a ticket. Sharma joined the Congress on Tuesday.
The BSP recently declared a list and retained four of its sitting MLAs as contenders from Ghaziabad district for the upcoming assembly elections. However, on Monday, Sharma was expelled from the party. On Tuesday, he held a press briefing in which he made a host of allegations against BSP leaders, including party chief Mayawati and national general secretary Nasimuddin Siddiqui.
“Three months ago, my ticket was held and I was asked to pay ₹8 crore. After demonetisation, I was told to arrange ₹5 crore in instalments instead. However, I kept stalling on the issue and did not pay. Finally, I was expelled on frivolous pretexts,” Sharma said.
He had won the Sahibabad seat for BSP in 2012 and had defeated then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sitting MLA Sunil Sharma.
His entry into the Congress suggests that he is in the running to contest for the Sahibabad constituency. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday also confirmed about a possible alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
Sharma also denied that he was expelled from the party because he did not participate in the event to mark the birthday of BSP chief Mayawati on January 15.
“I had arranged for vehicles, 500kg of laddu and LED lights for the function. I even undertook 33 different meetings in my area before the function. However, I was expelled as I did not pay ₹5 crore for the BSP ticket from Sahibabad. It is not due to any birthday celebration. The birthday celebration is that people come to the event to mark their attendance and possible offer money,” he said.
“Till yesterday, I was a BSP worker but now, the doors are open for me. Even Nasimuddin Siddiqui bargained with me for the money. Several persons, including BSP’s district president, conspired against me. He is an agent of Samajwadi Party who is working with the BSP,” Sharma said.
BSP’s national general secretary Nasimuddin Siddiqui denied the allegations made by Sharma and also questioned why he made the statements only after he was expelled.
“The one who is expelled always makes allegations. If our party was bad, why did he not run away earlier? We have stated our reasons clearly for turning him out and this is to be understood by all. Those expelled from the party or denied a ticket level such charges. All allegations are untrue and baseless,” Siddiqui said.
BSP’s Ghaziabad district president Premchand Bharti, said, “It (the allegations) is not based in fact and he is just venting out his anger and frustration as he was expelled. We deny all the allegations.”
The party is expected to announce a new candidate to contest the Sahibabad assembly segment shortly.