Mayawati sacks party leader who called Sonia Gandhi a ‘foreigner’
BSP national coordinator Jai Prakash Singh had said on Monday Congress president Rahul Gandhi “looks more like his mother than his father, and his mother is a foreigner, thus he can never be PM”.Updated: Jul 17, 2018 15:04 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati removed Jai Prakash Singh from the post of party national coordinator on Tuesday, a day after he claimed that Congress president Rahul Gandhi cannot become the country’s prime minister due to his “mother’s foreign origin”.
Mayawati’s action comes at a time when Opposition parties in the country are trying to put up a united front against the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “I have come to know about BSP national coordinator Jai Prakash Singh’s speech. He has taken a stance at variance with the BSP’s ideology, and also made personal remarks against the leadership of rival parties. As this is his personal opinion, he has been removed from his post with immediate effect,” news agency ANI quoted her as saying.
Jai Prakash Singh had commented on the foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi, former Congress president and Rahul Gandhi’s mother, in an effort to position the BSP supremo as a better candidate for the top post. “It is high time Mayawati became the country’s prime minister,” Jai Prakash Singh had said at the party’s first workers’ conference on Monday. “After playing a pivotal role in making HD Kumaraswamy the chief minister of Karnataka, Mayawati has emerged as a powerful politician. She is the only ‘dabang’ (fearless) leader who can stop the winning chariot of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the electoral battle.”
The party’s national coordinator also insisted that Rahul cannot be the country’s future prime minister because he “looks more like his mother than his father”. Mayawati possessed better credentials to occupy the top post because she was a “grassroots leader who has served as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister four times”, he added.
BSP state unit president RS Kushwaha had supported his claim at the meeting. “During the oath-taking ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy, opposition leaders rallied behind Mayawati on the dais. This clearly indicates that she is playing a pivotal role in the anti-Modi alliance,” he said.
Although the Congress did not react to Jai Prakash Singh’s comments, the BJP was quick to take a jibe at Mayawati’s party.
“Anyone can dream of becoming the PM these days, even if they do not have a single seat in the Lok Sabha. A leader with 44 seats like Rahul Gandhi is dreaming of becoming the PM and a leader like Mayawati - with no seat - is also dreaming of becoming the PM,” said Anil Baluni, BJP member in the Rajya Sabha.
There have been renewed attempts at effecting Opposition unity in recent times, with erstwhile political rivals such as the BSP, Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Congress coming together in various states to thwart the BJP. The swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy saw a number of regional political parties share a single stage in a show of strength ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
First Published: Jul 17, 2018 11:05 IST