Senior BJP leader Awasthi quits

Barely a day after the controversy over the Kalyan Singh’s meeting with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,the BJP received another jolt after senior party leader and former MLC Surendra Nath Awasthi aka Puttu Awasthi quit.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:January 20, 2009 1:59 am

Barely a day after the controversy over the Kalyan Singh’s meeting with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,the BJP received another jolt after senior party leader and former MLC Surendra Nath Awasthi aka Puttu Awasthi quit.

Though Awasthi did not disclose his future plans,sources said he may join the BSP.

“The BSP may field him as Lok Sabha candidate from either Unnao or Lucknow,” a source in the BJP said.

His inclination to join the party could be gauged by the fact that Awasthi announced his decision to quit the BJP at the media centre at State Annexe building,which also houses the chief minister’s office.

Awasthi’s son Ashutosh had contested the 2007 assembly election from Haidargarh as the BSP nominee. The BSP is already looking for a suitable candidate for Unnao after it decided to send Brajesh Pathak to Rajya Sabha.

“Awasthi will be a good choice as the BSP is looking for a Brahmin candidate for the Unnao seat,” the source added.

Awasthi is said to be quite annoyed with the BJP national presidentRajnath Singh,for whom he left his Haidergarh seat. One of the strongest Brahmin faces of the party in Central UP,his departure adds a nail to BJP’s crumbling coffin.

Lambasting the state leadership of the Bharatiya Janta Party,Awasthi,who has also been the leader with Congress and represented the Haidergarh assembly seat himself before joining BJP and vacating the seat for Rajnath Singh,said the party is now being headed by selfish people who are more worried about their own benefit than that of the party. “Yahan sab apne liye soch rahe hain,isiliye party ka yeh haal hai pradesh mein,” said Awasthi.

The BJP leaders say that Awathi’s departure will not affect the party in any way. “He may be technically with the party but has been keeping away from the party activities for long.

He has even been said to be working for the BSP only,” said the party’s state vice president and spokesperson HN Dixit. He added that the BJP is a big party and the departure of ‘such leaders’ does not create any difference in the party’s national stature.

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