BSP appoints Ritesh Pandey as party leader in Lok Sabha

Ritesh Pandey. File

Ritesh Pandey. File  

Mayawati cites need for ‘social harmony’ while replacing Danish Ali

In another flip flop, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has appointed Ritesh Pandey, the MP from Ambedkar Nagar as the new leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, citing the need to maintain “social harmony”.

Mr. Pandey replaces Amroha MP Kunwar Danish Ali.

M.r Ali, who was appointed the BSP’s leader in the Lok Sabha after 2019 general elections, was replaced soon after in July when he differed from the party line and spoke critically of the stripping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the triple talaq Bill. However, he was reinstated in November, after the party’s miserable showing in the Assembly by-polls, in Ms. Mayawati’s outreach to the Muslim community, who form 19.5 percent of the State population.

Mr. Pandey belongs to the Brahmin community, whom the BSP has been aggresively wooing for over a decade now. Last July, Ms. Mayawati had also appointed Munquad Ali, as the BSP’s U.P. president, in a bid to balance equations.

While appointing him, Ms. Mayawati had promised Muslims she would not remove Munquad Ali from the post and would leave “no stone unturned” in giving importance to the community.

However, on Monday, the BSP supremo said that since Mr. Munquad Ali and Mr. Danish Ali belonged to the “same community”, a change was required keeping in mind “social harmony” within the party.

The change comes at a time when the BSP has spoken out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, calling for its withdrawal and also demanded that the government withdraw cases against “innocent” protesters.

BSP MP from Bijnor Malook Nagar from the Gurjar community, has been appointed as the deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:09:21 AM |

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