BSP bigwig quits party ahead of 2017 elections, may join SP

OUR BUREAU AGENCIES New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

Swami Prasad Maurya shaking hands with Samajwadi Party leaderAzam Khan after quitting BSP in Lucknow on Wednesday - PTI

MAYAWATI, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo

Swami Prasad Maurya says BSP chief auctioning tickets; likely to be inducted into Akhilesh Cabinet

Months before Assembly elections scheduled early next year, Uttar Pradesh politics has begun witnessing twists and turns. Former BSP State President Swamy Prasad Maurya, who was sidelined in the party soon after the 2012 defeat, has resigned from the party.

While indications are that Maurya will join the Samajwadi Party and the Akhilesh Yadav Cabinet, BSP supremo Mayawati claimed her party’s decision to deny Assembly tickets to Maurya’s son and daughter resulted in his resignation.

Was Opposition leader

Sixty-two-year-old Maurya, the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, said he felt “suffocated”, and accused Mayawati of “auctioning” tickets for next year’s Assembly polls. “I feel suffocated and cannot continue in the party any more,” he said at a hurriedly-convened press conference here. “Today I have written a letter informing her (Mayawati) that I am relinquishing all party posts,” he said.

Attacking the BSP chief, Maurya said, “Tickets are being openly auctioned by Mayawati on a large scale. She is not making the right choice of candidates. Tickets are not only on sale in the party, they are being auctioned.”

‘Habitual party hopper’

He also accused Mayawati of “murdering” the values and principles of BR Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshi Ram.

Mayawati, however, said party-hopping was Maurya’s habit.

“BSP does not support dynastic politics. So it’s natural that he chose SP instead of us. I told him that I will not give tickets to his son and daughter as it is our policy that the party will not encourage dynasty politics,” Mayawati said in a statement. “Did he spend even a rupee to contest Assembly and Lok Sabha elections under the BSP banner? Let him answer,” Mayawati said.

Lured by parties

There were reports that both the BJP and the SP have been trying to reach out to Maurya. Both parties want to consolidate their base on the non-Yadav OBCs and Maurya is considered to have a strong base among the constituency.

Published on June 22, 2016

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