The Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP has revoked the suspension of its MLA from Bansi constituency, Jai Pratap Singh, who had been removed in April 2014 from the party’s primary membership during Lok Sabha elections on charges of working against the party.
In a press statement issued on April 19, 2014, party state president Laxmikant Bajpai had informed about suspending the MLA from party’s primary membership on the basis of complaints against him for anti-party activities. He had campaigned publicly for his wife who contested as a Congress candidate from Domariyaganj constituency instead of campaigning for BJP candidate Jagdambika Pal, and had even attended a rally with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Bajpai had said.
However, when contacted on Thursday, Bajpai changed his earlier statement claiming that no written notice was issued to Singh regarding the suspension. “Singh’s suspension was announced during Lok Sabha polls only to give a warning to the workers to stay away from such activities. Singh has been with the party,” Bajpai claimed.
He also said there was no need of seeking any explanation or apology from the Bansi MLA.
Talking to The Indian Express, Singh said he never received any notice from the party leadership regarding his suspension. “Party had announced my suspension because I was canvassing for my wife who was contesting Lok Sabha election as Congress candidate. But, technically I was in BJP and I have received information that my suspension has been revoked. Party state leaders could better inform about the development,” he said.
Sources said the BJP state office informed the Siddharth Nagar district unit about revoking the suspension of Singh last week and directed to invite him in the party meetings now onwards.
This decision has evoked resentment among local party leaders and workers. A senior leader said Singh had campaigned for his wife and had even welcomed Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Nagma during a rally in Domariyaganj. Singh’s photographs were there on poll publicity materials and hoardings along with his wife’s and Congress leaders. He used to speak against BJP’s ideology and senior party leaders during the elections, the leader alleged.
However, Singh said stood by BJP after Lok Sabha polls and even voted in favour of the BJP nominees in recent MLC elections.
The Bansi MLA has called a meeting of local BJP workers in his constituency on Saturday. “This meeting is regarding BJP’s ongoing membership campaign. Membership is low in my constituency and the meeting has been called to improve it,” Singh said.
Singh had won Assembly election as an independent in 1989 and 1991 from Bansi constituency. He had later won from the same seat in 1993, 1996 and 2002 as BJP nominee. He lost the election in 2007 but again won in 2012.