Mayawati suspends 7 MLAs, says will back even BJP to defeat SP
Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati on Thursday suspended seven legislators who opposed the nomination of her candidate Ramji Gautam for election to the Rajya Sabha, and vowed that BSP MLAs would support any other dispensation, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to ensure the defeat of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in upcoming elections to Uttar Pradesh’s upper house.
At a virtual press conference in New Delhi, Mayawati said the party suspended the seven MLAs for alleged anti- party activities.
The seven MLAs — Chaudhary Aslam Ali, Hakim Lal Bind, Mohammad Mujtaba Siddiqui, Aslam Raini, Sushma Patel, Hargovind Bhargava and Bandana Singh —had betrayed the party for the lure of money and election tickets offered by the SP, the BSP supremo alleged.
The BSP would also move an application to get the seven rebel MLAs disqualified from the legislative assembly under the anti-defection law, Mayawati said.
The nomination of Gautam to the Rajya Sabha was held valid on Wednesday for the November 9 polls to 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh that are falling vacant although four rebels claimed that their signatures on the nomination form had been forged. The four had met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, sparking speculation that they may desert the BSP.
“BSP MLAs would vote for the BJP or any other party candidate to ensure the defeat of the SP in the coming legislative council elections,” Mayawati said. The council elections are likely to be held in January.
Mayawati said her decision to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in an alliance with the SP was wrong. “Ignoring the anti-Dalit policy of the SP, I had taken the decision to go for an alliance in haste...The BSP mobilised its cadre and resources for the victory of the alliance...”. After declaration of the 2019 Lok Sabha election results, the attitude of Akhilesh Yadav changed, Mayawati said.
Calling the allegations baseless, SP state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said: “The truth is that the BSP has sided with the BJP. The SP had sincerely followed alliance ethics with BSP till it broke...As far as the BSP teaching a lesson to us (in legislative council polls), the BSP should first look at the number of MLAs they have.”