Troubles for Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati are likely to grow after a few embittered BSP defectors and expelled leaders held a strategy meet Sunday to plan her ouster.
According to a report in The Indian Express, as many as 16 outfits of Dalits, Muslims and OBCs, led by party's old lieutenants who were either shown the door or who deserted ship after successive electoral defeats, got together to plan a strategy to sideline her.
The credit for bringing these disgruntled leaders together goes to recently-expelled legislator Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who was a prominent Muslim face of the party and at one time, a key aide of the BSP supremo.
Ever since Siddiqui was expelled from the party in May 2017, apparently over corruption charges, speculation was rife over his next move. Siddiqui had floated a new outfit, the Rashtriya Bahujan Morcha, soon after his expulsion. However, he had remained away from politics, instead strengthening his base.
But Mayawati's dramatic resignation from the Rajya Sabha last month, saying she was not being allowed to speak on Dalit issues, brought to the fore the changing dynamics of Dalit politics in Uttar Pradesh and created an opening for those looking to give Dalits an alternative.
Mayawati's party in deep trouble
The BSP, which has just 5 MPs in Rajya Sabha, no presence in Lok Sabha and a mere 19 MLAs in the UP legislative Assembly, is finding itself in deep trouble. A weakening BSP has created a massive void in Dalit politics. Up for grabs:21.1 percent of Uttar Pradesh’s population.
Close aides, old guards and trusted loyalists have either been axed or have walked away, levelling eerily similar allegations against the BSP chief. After Siddiqui's ouster, the next big name to have been removed from the party was Indrajeet Saroj.
Merely a day after Indrajeet's ouster, as many as 30 party members from Allahabad and Kaushambi resigned, including former BSP minister Hiramani Patel and former MLA from Chail in Kaushambi, Asif Jafri, The Indian Express reported.
Meanwhile, discord within the party is evident. Many leaders are airing their grievances with the state of affairs. “People are dejected with BSP. The charge of demanding money levelled by almost all the defectors against Mayawati has lowered her stature. Workers are resisting any move to fund raise,” a senior BSP leader told The New Indian Express on the condition of anonymity. He added that even for Jatavs, a community Mayawati comes from, she is no longer a messiah.
Therefore, Mayawati's friends-turned-foes couldn't have chosen a more perfect time to plan their revenge.
A report in International Business Times stated that leaders who met on Sunday have now formed a new front called National Bahujan Alliance and a coordination committee with former BSP MP Pramod Kureel, with the aim of creating a fresh and strong alternative to BSP for Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.
"The outfits included Indian National League, Bahujan Sangharsh Party, Sarv Sambhav Party, Bhaman Mukti Morcha and a sister organisation of the All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees' Federation, or BAMCEF," the report said.
The Indian Express report quoted Siddiqui, who blamed Mayawati for jeopardising the Dalit movement and pawning Kanshiram's legacy for money. "“There is a vacant space for Bahujan politics. We will fill this space,” the report quoted another ex-BSP MLA as saying.
The group, which is extensively touring the state, trying to win support from other discontent BSP workers, claimed they will get support from prominent BSP faces in a few months.
Updated Date: Aug 07, 2017 11:19 AM