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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Mayawati again cracks whip, suspends Kanshi Ram loyalist

SP national general secretary Mewa Lal Gautam said on Wednesday that Upadhyay had been suspended because he opposed BSP candidates selected to contest the Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Aligarh seats.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 23, 2019 09:06 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Bahujan Samaj Party,BSP,Ramveer Upadhyay
Mayawati has in the past expelled founder members considered loyal to Kanshi Ram, including Raj Bahadur, Balihari Babu, Swami Prasad Maurya, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Indrajit Saroj, RK Chaudhary, Jung Bahadur Patel and Ram Lakhan Verma, said a BSP leader.(HT Photo)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has suspended veteran politician Ramveer Upadhyay, sidelining a veteran politician who was close to party founder and her mentor, the late Kanshi Ram, just days ahead of the declaration of results in the 17th general election.

SP national general secretary Mewa Lal Gautam said on Wednesday that Upadhyay had been suspended because he opposed BSP candidates selected to contest the Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Aligarh seats. He had campaigned in support of the BJP candidates in these seats and did not attend the rallies organised by BSP-Samajwadi Party alliance in western Uttar Pradesh for the alliance candidates.

A video in which he was seen campaigning for BJP candidate from Aligarh, Satish Gautam, also went viral on social media during electioneering, he said.

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A strategist of the social engineering formula that brought Mayawati to power in the 2007 assembly elections as the leader of a rainbow coalition, Upadhyay’s association with BSP had continued even after Kanshi Ram’s death in 2006.

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He helped spread the base of the party in the Braj region (Agra- Mathura- Aligarh- Hathras districts), mobilizing support of the upper castes, particularly the Brahmins, in favour of the BSP. His efforts paid dividend as the BSP won a large number of assembly seats in the Braj region to form a majority government in 2007. Upadhyay was rewarded with a cabinet portfolio in the Mayawati government. His influence in the party could be gauged from the fact that his wife Seema Upadhyay contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election on a BSP ticket from the Fatehpur Sikiri seat and won.

Mayawati has in the past expelled founder members considered loyal to Kanshi Ram, including Raj Bahadur, Balihari Babu, Swami Prasad Maurya, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Indrajit Saroj, RK Chaudhary, Jung Bahadur Patel and Ram Lakhan Verma, said a BSP leader.

First Published: May 23, 2019 07:13 IST

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