Mayawati picks House leaders,sparks talk of Rajya Sabha bidhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/mayawati-picks-house-leaders-sparks-talk-of-rajya-sabha-bid/

Mayawati picks House leaders,sparks talk of Rajya Sabha bid

BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui is expected to be the leader in the Legislative Council

State BSP chief Swami Prasad Maurya,who retained his Padrauna seat,is set to be the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly with the party’s newly elected MLAs picking him as their leader at a meeting attended by outgoing chief minister Mayawati on Saturday. BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui is expected to be the leader 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 will be held on March 30. The BSP has got 80 MLAs and is in a position to send two persons to 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,Mayawati told them to be patient and assured 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”. She directed her MLAs and MPs to avoid any controversy which might damage the party’s image.

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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 leader Gaya Charan Dinkar will be the BSP’s deputy leader in the Assembly and Ramveer Upadhayay,the outgoing power minister,who was elected from Sikandara Rau,will be the chief whip.

In the Legislative Council,Gopal Narain Mishra will be the BSP’s deputy leader while Sunil Chitor will be the party’s chief whip.