Leadership row in BSP breakaway group
WITH THE Supreme Court directing Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey to recognise the Bahujan Samaj Party breakaway group as the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal, a row has erupted in the party about its leadership.Updated: Mar 26, 2006 23:35 IST
WITH THE Supreme Court directing Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey to recognise the Bahujan Samaj Party breakaway group as the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal, a row has erupted in the party about its leadership.
While Minister of State for Women Welfare and Culture Rajendra Singh Rana, who had led the defection in the BSP in 2003, asserted that he was the leader of the LBD legislature party, Minister for Haj and Minorities Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi of the ‘cartoon bounty fame’ on Saturday said a meeting of the MLAs would be called before March 28 to elect a new leader.
However, Rana accused Qureshi of creating confusion and complicating the situation. He told Hindustan Times on Saturday that the apex court had restored status quo, which also included his leadership.
Rana said at the time of the BSP split, which was recognised by the then Speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi on September 6, 2003, he was the leader of the breakaway group. Rana said there was no change in the situation. But, Qureshi said the election of Rana at that time was in a hurry. Now, a new leader would be elected after discussion.
Rana said there was no plan for a meeting, as he was elected leader with consensus. Rana said the group had extended support to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and would work under his guidance. Rana also said he had moved the apex court against the High Court judgement. Notwithstanding Rana’s claim about unity in the group, every member has been pulling in different directions. Of the 38-member group, five have already announced their support to the BSP.
he remaining 33 members have been individually dealing with the SP and the BSP leadership for crucial Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Parishad elections on March 28. Some of them are in contact with Mafiosi-turned-MLAs who had fielded BJP sympathiser Sudhanshu Mittal for the Rajya Sabha.
Ever since a crisis erupted in the BSP breakaway faction after the HC decision on February 28 directing the Speaker to reconsider the disqualification issue, the leadership matter had been haunting it. In view of the delicate situation, the SP, too, has been avoiding to recognise anybody as a leader of the BSP rebels. Earlier, Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhury said that rebel members had come individually to the SP.
First Published: Mar 26, 2006 23:35 IST