State BSP president Swami Prasad Maurya,who retained the Padrauna seat,is set to be the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly with the partys newly-elected MLAs picking him as the leader of the legislature party at a meeting attended by outgoing chief minister Mayawati here on Saturday. BSP national general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui is expected to be the leader of the party in the Legislative Council.
This has sparked speculation that Mayawati,who is now a member of the Legislative Council,may opt for the Rajya Sabha. “Polling for the vacant Rajya Sabha seats in the state will be held on March 30. The BSP has got 80 MLAs and is in a position to send two persons to the Rajya Sabha. Mayawati may enter the Rajya Sabha this time,” said a source.
Meeting the BSP’s newly-elected 80 MLAs for the first time since the declaration of results,Mayawati reportedly asked them to show patience and assured that she would focus on strengthening the party at the grassroots.
Referring to the incoming SP government in the state,Mayawati expressed concern over the possible return of “Goonda Raj” in the state. She directed her party MLAs,MLCs and MPs to avoid any controversy which might damage the party’s image.
At one point,she also reminded the MLAs that those who left the party in the past could not rise in their political career. She cited the recent exit of former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha as an example.
The BSP has called a meeting of its national and state leaders at the party office here on Sunday. “Apart from MPs,MLAs and MLCs,all the top coordinators who are deployed in various states and different regions of UP will also attend the meeting. BSP chief Mayawati will discuss the reasons for the party’s defeat,” said a BSP source.
Senior party leader Gaya Charan Dinkar,who won the Naraini seat (SC) in Bundelhand region,will be the party’s deputy leader in the Assembly,while Ramveer Upadhayay,the outgoing power minister who was elected from Sikandara Rau seat,will be the party’s chief whip.
In the Legislative Council,BSP leader Gopal Narain Mishra will be the party’s deputy leader while Sunil Chitor will be the party’s chief whip.