At BSP strategy meet, Mayawati gives key posts to brother, nephew; BJP says ‘promoting dynasty’
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Sunday appointed her brother Anand Kumar as national vice-president and nephew Akash Anand the national coordinator of the party.
A senior BSP leader said during the national executive meeting of the party here, Mayawati announced the changes in the party organisation to prepare the cadre for future elections – bypolls to 11 assembly seats likely in September and 2022 UP assembly election.
Danish Ali, party MP from Amroha, has been made the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha while Nagina MP Girish Chandra has been appointed chief whip.
A few BSP leaders expressed surprise over the appointment of Anand Kumar as the party’s national vice-president.
In the national executive meeting on May 26 last year, Mayawati had removed Anand Kumar from the post after rival parties accused her of promoting dynastic politics.
Countering the charge, Mayawati had stated that leaders loyal to the policy of the party and working at the grassroots would be given key responsibilities in the organisation.
A senior BSP leader, not wishing to be named, said: “The appointments (of Anand Kumar and his son Akash Anand) will strengthen the hold of Mayawati’s family on the party. It’s against the constitution of the party and the ideals of BSP founder Kanshi Ram.”
The leader maintained that Kanshi Ram was against the promotion of family in the party and did not give any post in the party to his relatives.
Akash, who has an MBA degree from London, has been active in the BSP since 2017 assembly election campaign.
During the Lok Sabha poll campaign, he accompanied Mayawati in public rallies across Uttar Pradesh. He also toured Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh with the BSP chief and also attended crucial party meetings.
He was also present during Mayawati’s pre-poll alliance talks with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and addressed a public meeting in Agra when the Election Commission imposed a ban on Mayawati for violating the model code of conduct.
He had also visited Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur district on May 23 last year to meet Dalits who were allegedly attacked by the members of upper caste.
Daddu Prasad, a founder member of the BSP, said: “Taking the responsibility of the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha election, Mayawati should have resigned as BSP president. Appointment of family members to the top posts indicates that she wants to convert a missionary party formed to fight for the rights of the Dalits into her private property.”
“This step will prove to be the last nail in BSP’s coffin. Several senior leaders have revolted and left the party,” he said.
Refusing to comment on the issue, Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said it was the internal matter of the BSP.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Shalabh Mani Tripathi said, “Mayawati is promoting dynasty in the party. Instead of assigning key roles to Dalit leaders or workers, she has promoted her brother and nephew in the organisation. She is following the footsteps of the SP and the Congress which are promoting dynastic politics.”
He said the appointments indicated that Mayawati was rattled and did not have faith in party leaders and organisation.
On January 24, when the SP and the BSP, arch-rivals of 24 years, entered into an alliance to contest the Lok Sabha elections they were perceived to be the only force that could take on the BJP in UP.
However, the alliance failed to make a mark and could manage only 15 seats. While the BSP gained from the alliance bagging 10 seats from zero in 2014 elections, the SP’s tally of five in 2014 remained the same.