BSP’s Mayawati suspends 7 rebel MLAs, day after they met Akhilesh Yadav
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday suspended seven rebel legislators of the party, who had opposed the nomination of its official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha. The seven MLAs include Chaudhary Aslam Ali, Hakim Lal Bind, Mohammad Mujtaba Siddiqui, Aslam Raini, Sushma Patel, Hargovind Bhargava and Bandana Singh.
The rebels had also met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday, triggering a speculation that they might jump ship. Four of them had also filed an affidavit, saying their signatures on the nomination of the BSP’s national coordinator and Bihar in-charge Ramji Gautam’s nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections had been “forged”. However, the returning officer accepted Gautam’s nomination as the BSP candidate for the November 9 elections for the 10 Uttar Pradesh seats that are falling vacant.
Mayawati’s party had on Monday fielded Ramji Gautam for the Rajya Sabha elections even though it did not have the number to ensure his victory. The BSP leaders had indicated they expected the other non-BJP parties to support his candidature, Altogether, 11 candidates, including eight from the BJP, have filed their papers for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh going to the polls in the biennial elections.
Out of these 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh that are falling vacant, three were earlier held by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), four by the SP, two by the BSP and one by the Congress.