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Exodus from BSP on, may lose more to BJP

Exodus from BSP on, may lose more to BJP

Lucknow: After losing six legislators to the Congress in Rajasthan, the Bahujan Samaj Party is now likely to lose three members of the UP Legislative Council to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

According to sources, three BSP MLCs have held meetings with state BJP leaders and are waiting for a meeting with the party high command before they resign from the BSP.

One Rajya Sabha MP from the BSP is also said to be knocking at the BJP's doors.

The BSP, at present, has four members in the Rajya Sabha and eight members in the Vidhan Parishad.

The BJP, on the other hand, lacks a majority in the 100-member UP Legislative Council where the BJP has only 21 members while the Samajwadi Party has 55 members and BSP 8 members.

A senior BJP leader, while speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "The BSP has always been prone to splits. History proves this and we are not forcing anyone to quit the party.

"If the leaders are unhappy with the leadership, it is the leadership that is to be blamed. If anyone comes to us with a clean slate, we will welcome them with open arms."

The leader, however, refused to disclose when exactly the BSP MLCs would quit to join the BJP.

However, he said, "In the case of SP MPs and MLCs we have kept our word and re-nominated them to their respective houses. The BSP leaders should know this."

The Bahujan Samaj Party, incidentally, has been prone to splits ever since Mayawati took over the reins of the party.

The first split that the BSP suffered was in 1995 when the infamous state guest house incident took place in Lucknow and the then state BSP president Raj Bahadur crossed over to the Samajwadi Party along with some other legislators. The BSP had won 67 seats in the 1993 elections and some legislators were upset at the hard bargain that Mayawati was then trying to drive with the then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Kanshi Ram, who was in hospital at the time of the incident, could not intervene and Mayawati's leadership, apparently, was not acceptable to a section of the BSP MLAs.

The BSP (which again won 67 seats) suffered its biggest split in 1997 when Mayawati pulled out of the coalition with BJP. About 20 BSP MLAs broke away to form the Jantantrik Bahujan Samaj Party and extended support to the then Kalyan Singh government. All of them were made ministers.

Again in 2003, when Mayawati severed her alliance with the BJP and recommended dissolution of the state assembly, about 18 BSP MLAs crossed over to the Samajwadi Party and Mulayam Singh formed the government.

According to a former BSP leader who is now in BJP, it is Mayawati's style of functioning that has made the party susceptible to recurrent splits.

"Kanshi Ram reached out to party cadres at the lowest level and established an emotional connect with them. Mayawati never meets her MLAs and MPs on a one-to-one basis. Moreover, ever since she has started charging money for tickets, the dedicated party workers are left out and those with monetary interests end up getting tickets. Such persons have no loyalty to ideology and can leave the party for further gains," he said.

Political analyst Pradeep Kapoor, meanwhile, said that the BSP was becoming prone to splits because of the fickle nature of its leadership.

"Making and breaking alliances without a valid reason has become a habit with Mayawati. She has forged and then broken alliances with SP, Congress and BJP on several occasions. This naturally disturbs leaders who contest elections in her party. Moreover, she never takes her people into confidence before announcing decisions," he said.



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