BSP chief Mayawati has inducted a personal aide at her home as party national general secretary while removing two senior leaders who held the same post.
According to the latest list of office-bearers sent by Mayawati to the Election Commission after her re-election as BSP president in August, copies of which have been collected by The Indian Express through RTI, the party national general secretaries are S C Misra, Nasimuddin Siddiqui, Swami Prasad Maurya, Vir Singh and Manoj Kumar. Kumar is the only new addition to the list.
While most in the BSP are not even aware who Kumar is, one party leader, who knew him, described him as “a boy in his 20s who works as a personal aide to Mayawati” at her residence in Delhi.
BSP national treasurer and returning officer for organisation elections, Ambeth Rajan, however, said Kumar is “not only assisting Mayawati but is also involved in party activities”. He said Kumar is from UP but added that he was not aware about the previous responsibilities given to him.
Two senior leaders —- Rajya Sabha MP Narendra Kumar Kashyap and former MP Avtar Singh Karimpuri, a senior party worker from Punjab —- have been removed from the post of the national general secretaries. Kashyap was holding the post for nearly a decade. Mayawati had earlier listed Mewa Lal Gautam as national general secretary in a list sent to the EC in 2012. Gautam is also a low-key office-bearer and supervises the work at BSP state headquarters in Lucknow.
Meanwhile, Amarnath Bhaskar, who has been named as the national secretary in latest list of party office-bearers sent by Mayawati to EC, is known in party circles as her personal aide.
According to the list, Mayawati has also reshuffled most of the party’s state units. In Uttar Pradesh, new state general secretaries are MLCs Jaiveer Singh, a Thakur leader from Aligarh, and Naushad Ali, a Muslim who is also a coordinator. Sitting MLA and former minster Ramvir Upadhyay and MP Munquad Ali who were state general secretaries earlier, are no more part of the state office-bearers.
Tribhuan Dutt who was named as vice-president of UP unit in a list submitted the EC in June 2013, has been replaced by Atar Singh Rao in the latest list.
Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act 1951, says that after a party has been registered, “any change in its name, head office, office-bearers or in any other material matters shall be communicated to the Commission without delay”.
Guessing game on her successor
With Mayawati rarely announcing the internal appointments in her party, many of BSP functionaries remain little-known or sometimes unknown. In August 2008, when it was speculated that Raja Ram who was then national vice-president, could be her successor, the BSP had sent a press release replacing him with Alok Kumar Verma.
However, the party never mentioned his name in the list of party’s office-bearers it sent to the EC. This even as, for the past several year, BSP has mentioned Raja Ram, who was renominated as RS member for the second time in November last year, as the only national vice-president.
The speculation about Raja Ram being Mayawati’s successor gained strength after she, at a party rally held on August 9, 2008, had said that there were threats to her life and her successor was someone who is “about 18-20 years younger” to her and belongs to her own community.