BSP losing ground, and its leaders in UP

By Amita Verma

Lucknow, Nov 29 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh is facing rapid erosion of his vote base among Dalits.

While several Dalit leaders have left the party after the Lok Sabha debacle, BSP President Mayawati has also expelled a number of party leaders on frivolous grounds.

The trend has also prevented leaders from other parties from joining the BSP.

Mayawati, in recent weeks, has thrown out over two dozen senior leaders of the party.

Those who have been shown the door include, former MLA Ravindra Molhu, former Meerut mayor Sunita Varma, former MLA Yogesh Varma, former minister Ramvir Upadhyaya, senior party leader Sunil Chittor, former MLA Kalicharan Suman, Narain Signh Suman, Tilakchand Ahirwar, Veeru Suman, Bhartendu Arun, Malkhan Singh Vyas, Kamal Gautam, Prem Chand and Vikram Singh.

All those expelled are Dalits and have been working for the party for years.

“The party president did not take any action against Jaunpur MP Shyam Singh Yadav who had attended Samajwadi Party meeting. She also ignored Mohd Aslam Raini who defied the party whip to attend the special assembly session on October 2.

“Instead, she gave additional responsibilities to these two leaders recently. It is only the Dalit leaders mainly who have been expelled. What message is the party sending to Dalit voters?” asked a Dalit leader in the party.

The erosion in the BSP vote base was evident in the Assembly bye-elections, where the party could not win even a single seat while the Samajwadi Party gained ground by winning three seats.

Sources said that for the first time, the party organization in the BSP was “in tatters”.

“In several districts, party leaders have either been expelled or have quietly left the party. Seventeen BSP leaders from Pratapgarh, including former Patti assembly constituency in-charge RK Bhim, joined the SP along with hundreds of workers. The grass root workers have not been given any programme to follow and many of them are already searching for greener pastures,” admitted a party functionary.

Former BSP Minister Ghura Ram, former Mau BSP district president Ashok Gautam, former BSP state president Dayaram Pal and former Ballia district chief, Mithailal Bharati also left the BSP, accusing the party of deviating from the ideals of BR Ambedkar and its founder, Kanshi Ram.

A former BSP minister said: “There is no second-rung leadership left in the BSP now. Mayawati remains inaccessible to party workers and her nephew and brother are following in her footsteps.

“How long can a political party be run on remote control?”

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