Another senior BSP leader raises banner of revolt
“When I refused to oblige her, she relieved me of all posts in the organisation. More than the party, Mayawati is concerned about money and her family,” Indrajit Saroj said.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 15:01 IST
Reeling under rebellion by its top leaders, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) suffered another setback on Tuesday with its national general secretary Indrajit Saroj raising the banner of revolt over fund collection allegedly ordered by party chief Mayawati for the organisation.
Saroj, a four-term former MLA from Manjhanpur in Kaushambi, told HT: “When I refused to oblige her, she relieved me of all posts in the organisation. More than the party, Mayawati is concerned about money and her family.”
Saroj, who belongs to the Pasi community, said, “A meeting of senior leaders was held under the chairmanship of Mayawati on July 8. In the meeting, the leaders were told to raise funds by launching a money collection drive in 403 assembly constituencies. The leaders were told to collect Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh from each assembly segment. I told the zonal coordinator that I am not in a position to give money nor I do wish to contest the Lok Sabha or assembly election.”
“On Tuesday evening, Mayawati rang me up and asked if I had refused to deposit money with the zonal coordinator. My reply was affirmative. She told me that I have been relieved of all posts in the party. I was told not to visit the party office as well,” he said.
Asked about his plan now, Saroj said, “I will hold a meeting with supporters in Kaushambi to decide the strategy.”
For their part, senior BSP leaders maintained that no action had been initiated against Saroj nor had he been expelled from the party.
Sources said Saroj’s rebellion unnerved the BSP leadership that was gearing up its cadre for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He has considerable influence over the Dalit community in the Allahabad region and central UP.
Considered loyal to Mayawati, he was a minister in her government in 2002 and again in 2007. Eighteen BSP MLAs switched sides to the BJP before the 2017 assembly election.
Revolt by senior leaders like Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Swami Prasad Maurya, Brijesh Pathak, Dara Singh Chauhan and Jugul Kishore had damaged the party. On July 29, another senior leader and MLC Thakur Jaiveer Singh joined the BJP.
A senior BSP leader said, “After his defeat in the 2017 assembly election, Saroj has lost his mental balance and is making baseless allegations against the party chief. Since he has directly attacked the party chief, action will be taken against him,” he said.
To send a message to Saroj, the BSP expelled former MLA Radhey Lal Rawat, a Pasi leader considered close to Saroj. The state unit leaders said Rawat was shown the door on the charge of indulging in anti-party activities.
Before the 2017 assembly election, the BSP expelled senior leader RK Chaudhary who belonged to the Pasi community. With the Pasi community shifting its political allegiance, the BSP fared badly on the seats dominated by Pasis.