Updated: October 4, 2021 5:15:46 am
In a double blow to the BSP ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, former Rajya Sabha MP and party national general secretary Veer Singh and former MLA Ajeem Bhai switched over to the SP on Sunday.
Earlier known to be one of BSP president and former chief minister Mayawati’s trusted aides, Singh has significant clout in his home district Moradabad and surrounding areas. While his exit is being seen as a setback to the BSP ahead of the polls, party leaders claimed it won’t have much impact as he was already removed from the party a few months ago.
In a statement, SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said former MP and BSP national general secretary Veer Singh, former MLA and his party colleague Ajeem Bhai, and BJP youth leader Vinod Mishra had joined the party, showing faith in the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav.
“Welcoming these people in the party, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav showed faith that this will give strength to the party. Those who joined the party after leaving BSP and BJP pledged to ensure the party’s victory in 2022 and making Akhilesh Yadav the chief minister,” the statement read.
Playing down Singh’s exit, BSP national spokesperson MH Khan said he was not with the party as he was removed some months ago.
Reacting to Singh’s switchover, Mayawati said in a tweet, “The clan and public base of the Samajwadi Party is not going to increase by including leaders who are selfish ticket aspirants and had been suspended by their parent parties. People know and understand everything. If the SP brings in such people, then their own people, who are already jockeying for tickets, will find ways to move to other parties. It won’t increase their support base, but would cause more damage instead. However, some are slaves to their habits.”
“Also, the way the media is presenting and overplaying these news stories, is only enhancing the significance of the BSP rather than affecting it. Since they are giving this much importance to such people, it definitely means that BSP leaders and candidates have much strength on the ground,” she posted.
Only recently, expelled BSP leaders Ramachal Rajbhar and Lalji Verma met the SP president, setting off speculation that they, too, might join the party soon.
Rajbhar, MLA from Akbarpur, and Lalji Verma, MLA from the Katehari, were once considered very close to the BSP chief and were assigned key responsibilities in the party. On June 3, Mayawati expelled both leaders, belonging to the Kurmi community, for “indulging in anti-party activities”.
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