BSP’s general secretary quits party, accuses Mayawati of selling tickets

In a blow to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly election, Mayawati’s top lieutenant Swami Prasad Maurya quit the party on Wednesday, accusing the party chief of selling tickets.
Mayawati, on her part, hit back promptly, claiming that Maurya was seeking tickets for his son and daughter. The BSP chief said she would have expelled him in a few days anyway. Maurya, a backward class leader, was the party’s national general secretary and leader of opposition in the state assembly.
“A large number of distressed BSP MLAs are in touch with me and are ready to go wherever I go”, said Maurya at a hurriedly called press conference where he announced his resignation.
He accused Mayawati, a four-time chief minister, of alienating Dalits, the party’s committed cadre and dumping the ideals of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar as well as of the BSP founder Kanshi Ram. Instead of loyal workers, people with money and muscle power were given tickets for the 2017 assembly election, he alleged. Terming Maurya’s allegation baseless, the BSP chief retorted, “Maurya was trying to promote his children in politics and demanded tickets for his son and daughter.” “It’s against the ideals of the BSP,” Mayawati said at a press conference which began at her Mall Avenue residence within moments of Maurya’s interaction with journalists.
Welcoming Maurya’s decision to quit the BSP she said, “He might join the SP or the BJP which will give tickets to his children in the coming assembly election.”
“It has become a practice among deserters to make an allegation about selling of tickets. Maurya should tell the people how much money he has given to me for the tickets that I gave him as well as his son and daughter in
the 2012 assembly election. Earlier, he worked with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Maulayam Singh Yadav in the Lok Dal and the Janata Dal. Mulayam is promoting his family in politics and the same habit has affected Maurya too,” Mayawati said.
“My political rivals often say that I am not the daughter of a Dalit but of daulat (wealth). My parents named me Maya, which means that I will be always blessed with wealth and prosperity. It’s an open fact that the BSP is being run on the contribution of party leaders and workers,” Mayawati stated.
Replying to a question, she said, “The MLAs who have been expelled from the BSP on the charge of anti-party activities might be in touch with Maurya. But, the MLAs committed to the party ideology will not go with him. The tickets of a majority of the sitting MLAs have been finalised.
The party will soon take a decision about the appointment of the leader of opposition in the legislative assembly,” she said.
Amid speculation over Maurya’s next move, the BJP and SP leaders virtually competed with one another to welcome him as he emerged from his media briefing at the Vidhan Bhawan hall. While BJP MP Jagdambika Pal welcomed Maurya, senior SP leaders Shivpal Singh Yadav and Azam Khan rushed out of their chambers in the Vidhan Bhawan to greet Maurya. Maurya has not given any indication about his next move. “I will talk to my supporters and the people of Padrauna constituency that I represent in the state assembly before taking a final decision,” he said. The BSP is desperate to win the 2017 assembly polls after being wiped out in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Maurya was always considered a committed BSP worker and commands loyalty among his cadre. Mayawati has been rejigging the party, and announced more changes just this Wednesday. The four-time chief minister has been actively overhauling her party machinery in the past few months to brace up for the 2017 state assembly elections.

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