BOOSTING THE BJP’s attempts to consolidate the Brahmin votes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections next year, former BSP MP Brajesh Pathak joined the party on Monday.
Although there was speculation over the last few months that Pathak, a close aide of Mayawati and one of the faces of her social engineering bid, was likely to join the BJP, Monday’s development caught many BSP leaders by surprise. More so as the BSP had assured him a ticket from Bilgram-Mallawan assembly seat.
Soon after Pathak joined the BJP, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra said the party had expelled him for “anti-party activities” and “indiscipline”. Misra claimed Pathak had sought tickets for his wife, brother and brother-in-law.
Pathak was among a few Brahmin leaders who had joined the BSP before the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. That year, Pathak won the Unnao Lok Sabha seat, which has a significant Brahmin population. He was BSP deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.
According to party sources, Pathak’s wife was denied a ticket to contest the Unnao assembly seat subsequently. His brother-in-law was replaced by another candidate, and was later sacked from the party for “indiscipline”.
In a letter to Mayawati that he released on Monday, Pathak said he had worked hard to connect the Brahmins to the BSP. “I thought that you have left the politics of tilak, tarazu aur talwar and accepted the politics of all castes… You have again acquired the feeling of hatred towards Brahmins. They are being sidelined. You replaced 70 Brahmin candidates with Muslims with money power and criminal backgrounds for the next assembly elections,” he wrote. Pathak said he was leaving the BSP to “secure the good of Brahmins”.
Political analysts said Pathak’s decision to leave the BSP is an indication that Mayawati is focusing on Dalit-Muslim consolidation, unlike the rainbow coalition she had stitched in the past that included Dalits, Muslims, non-Yadav OBCs and the upper castes.