Reeling from their defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) went into damage control mode on Tuesday. While Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked 36 SP leaders, including 32 who enjoyed Minister of State rank in his government, BSP chief Mayawati dissolved her party’s organisational units.
The SP leaders who faced action included 32 chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of various corporations, boards and councils in the state government — all with Minister of State rank — and four other advisors in various departments. Among these are party leaders who lost the elections like Narendra Singh Bhati (Gautam Buddha Nagar), Virendra Singh (Muzaffarnagar) and Surendra Mohan Aggrawal (Kanpur).
Other prominent leaders who have been removed are Satish Dixit, Anuradha Choudhary, Ashu Malik, Haji Iqram Qureshi, Ashok alias Raja Chaturvedi, Kuldip Ujjawal and Devendra Kumar Gupta. SP sources said they were sacked for failing to mobilise support for the party.
Akhilesh also removed K C Pandey (failed to mobilise Brahmin votes), Kamlesh Pathak (Dimple Yadav lost in Bidhuna assembly segment), Lilawati Kushwaha (made controversial remarks on Mayawati), Vidyawati Rajbhar (SP lost in Ambedkar Nagar), Shivpal Yadav loyalist Ribu Srivastava (failed to mobilise support in Agra and Varanasi), Anees Mansoori (promised support of backward Muslims); Ranjana Bajpayee (poor show in Allahabad), Surbhi Shukla (failed to get support in Sultanpur), and Rambabu Yadav (faced allegations from a woman party worker).
Meanwhile, Mayawati, who held a meeting of her party’s functionaries from across the country, dissolved all organisational units of the BSP. She said the new organisation would be constituted with major changes and only the party coordinators who were able to perform would be retained.
BSP leader Sukhdeo Rajbhar said the whole party organisation, starting from the booth level, would be reconstituted.
Addressing the meeting called to review the BSP’s performance, Mayawati said she would focus on SC/STs and OBCs, while also making an attempt to reach out to upper castes and Muslims. She said the upper castes and OBCs had drifted towards the BJP while the Muslims had voted for the SP.
“Nirash hone ki zarurat nahin hai. Mujhey poora yakeen hai ki BJP ki halat bhi Janata Party sarkar ki tarah hogi (You don’t need to feel disappointed. I know the BJP will go the way of the Janata Party government),” Mayawati said.