10 ex-BSP leaders join Congress in MP hours before LS polls announcement

Bhopal, March 12, 2019 (Muslim Saleem):  As many as 10 former BSP leaders including two former state presidents and a former MP joined Congress hours before Lok Sabha polls announcement on Sunday. Ten former BSP leaders who had been expelled by the party joined Congress on Sunday hours before the Election Commission announced the Lok Sabha polls. Among the ten are two former state presidents of the BSP and a former MP. Some of them accused BSP chief Mayawati of running the party in an undemocratic and whimsical manner.
The BSP brushed aside the development saying these leaders were already expelled due to their anti-party activities.
The leaders who joined the Congress include former state BSP presidents Pradeep Ahirwar and Satyaprakash Jatav, Devdutt Soni, Babulal Pahalwan, Ravindra Patel, Pohap Chaudhary, Manju Sarraf, Komal Prasad, Vinod Rai and Ramsevak Damle, the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Congress claimed. Chief minister Kamal Nath who is also the state Congress president was present on the occasion at Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office where the leaders joined the grand old party.
Earlier, BSP leader and former MP Devraj Singh Patel had joined Congress.
“Party president Mayawati doesn’t give any importance to any party office-bearers of Madhya Pradesh. She operates through and believes only state in-charge leader sent from Uttar Pradesh. Even if the state-in-charge leaders tell a lie she would believe them. There is no democracy in the party,” said Pradeep Ahirwar.
Devraj Patel said, “Situation in MP has come to a sorry pass. The party’s base is dwindling due to bad decisions of the party president Mayawati based on wrong feedback of the state in-charge leaders from time to time. I was only party MP from Madhya Pradesh from 2009 to 2014 but even I couldn’t talk to her. Such is the state of dictatorship in the party.”
State BSP president Dwarka Prasad Chaudhary dismissed the development as something of no consequence.
“These leaders were already expelled from the party in January this year due to their anti-party activities,” he said.
On their joining the Congress which is being supported by the BSP in government state BSP in-charge Ramji Gautam said, “We are hardly concerned which party they join. Since, they are not in BSP they are free to join any party. It will not affect the party’s poll prospects in Lok Sabha elections.”
Mayawati had refused to join hands with Congress for a pre-poll alliance with it ahead of state assembly elections held in November last year. Later, BSP entered into a pre-poll alliance with Samajvadi Party. Ahead of Lok Sabha election too SP and BSP have entered into a pre-poll alliance in Madhya Pradesh. SP will contest on three seats while BSP will field its candidates on remaining 26 seats.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BSP couldn’t win any seat from MP. Earlier, in 2009 Lok Sabha polls BSP had one MP from Madhya Pradesh. It wields influence mainly in Gwalior-Chambal, Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions of Madhya Pradesh.
State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “Congress’ door is open for those who believe in its ideology. It will not affect the BSP’s support to the Congress government as Congress doesn’t believe in poaching any leader from any party.”
State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “BSP leaders must realise now that whichever party supports Congress, the latter damages it first. Their joining the Congress will not affect the BJP’s poll prospects but it will definitely affect the prospects of both Congress and BSP in Lok Sabha polls.”