Other States

Akhilesh has lost faith in own leaders: Mayawati

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati. File   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

As leaders and legislators, former and present, associated with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh continue to engage with rival Samajwadi Party (SP), party chief Mayawati has intensified her attack on SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, with whom she fought the 2019 Lok Sabha election in an alliance.

On Wednesday, yet another leader formerly associated with the BSP, former MLA Amar Pal Sharma was inducted into the SP by Mr. Yadav.

Mr. Sharma, who won from Sahibabad in Ghaziabad in 2012 on a BSP ticket, was expelled by the party in the 2017 polls for indiscipline. He joined the Congress and contested on its ticket as part of an alliance with the SP but stood a distant second, as the BJP won the seat.

Mr. Sharma has “resolved” to bring back Mr. Yadav as the Chief Minister in 2022, said SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary.

Ms. Mayawati said it seemed like the the SP chief no longer trusted his local leaders.

“The SP’s condition is so bad that to remain relevant in media, its chief himself is having to induct former MLAs who have been expelled by other parties or have become ineffective in their constituency, and small-time workers,” Ms. Mayawati said.

The four-time former Chief Minister claimed that her party’s local leadership was regularly inducting leaders from other parties, including the SP, after a full scrutiny.

Udaiveer Singh, SP MLC and a close aide of Mr. Yadav, dismissed Ms. Mayawati's attack as a mere “face-saving” comment. He stressed that the flow of leaders towards the SP was an indication that on the ground people have read that the SP could provide a viable alternative to lead the State.

“People have realised that this BJP government has done nothing. It is only Akhilesh Yadav’s work which is visible to people. Most of the people worried about their political future want to join hands with him,” the MLC told The Hindu.

He claimed that many BJP MLAs were in touch with the party and would make the jump at the right time.

Break-up of alliance

Since Ms. Mayawati broke the alliance with the SP following the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, several of her leaders and former MLAs and MPs have flocked to the SP for greener pastures. Earlier this week, half a dozen suspended BSP MLAs met Mr. Yadav and intensified the possibility of switching ranks as polls approach. In the build-up to the 2017 polls, several of the BSP’s top leaders, especially those from the OBC communities, had abandoned her in favour of the BJP.

While the BSP had been reduced to just 19 MLAs in 2017, today its effective strength in the State is just seven, with many rebellions and recent sacking of senior MLAs Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar.

The BJP has 304 MLAs, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) has nine in the 403-member Assembly.

The SP is second, with 49. The Congress has seven but two of its MLAs rebelled, reducing its actual presence further.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 8:53:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mayawati-launches-fresh-attack-on-sp-chief-akhilesh-yadav/article34837736.ece

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