The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, Mayawati, on Thursday (June 3) expelled two of the senior party MLAs for their anti-party activities in the Panchayat poll held in the second half of April and in which it performed badly.
The expelled MLAs are Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar. Verma, who is a prominent Kurmi face in the party, however, claimed that he is still in the BSP and that he would end differences after meeting Mayawati.
Verma said that there was no question of indulging in anti-party activities as he was in a Lucknow hospital during the Panchayat poll. He said that Mayawati was misinformed about his role in Ambedkarnagar district.
Verma and Rajbhar represent Katehri and Akbarpur, both in Ambedkarnagar district. Verma is a five-time MLA and was the leader of the party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
Rajbhar, on the other hand, was earlier the state unit chief of the BSP. Both have served as ministers in the past.
Shah Alam, alias Guddu Jamali has now been appointed as the new leader of the party in the House.
Thus the number of legislators of the party has come down to seven. The party had in the last Assembly election held in 2017 won 19 seats, but some of them had crossed over to join the Samajwadi Party.
The BSP supremo has, of late, been keeping a low profile. Even during the famers’ movement and the first and second waves of corona virus she had not been very critical of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Only in January last she came up in support of the farmers.
As the expulsion has come just seven months ahead of the Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, political observers are of the view that organisationally the BSP is not in a position to take on the BJP or Samajwadi Party—the latter is fast emerging as an alternative to the saffron party.