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BJP president Amit Shah greets former BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya who joined the BJP on Monday. Photo: PTI
BJP president Amit Shah greets former BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya who joined the BJP on Monday. Photo: PTI

BSP’s Swami Prasad Maurya joins BJP

Swami Prasad Maurya says other BSP leaders may join the BJPsoon

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) former national general secretary, Swami Prasad Maurya, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election in 2017.

Maurya, who was leader of the opposition in the state assembly and a popular backward caste face of the party, was inducted into the BJP in the presence of the party’s national president Amit Shah and state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, among other leaders. He had quit the BSP on 22 June, accusing its chief, Mayawati, of corruption and “auctioning" seats.

While thanking the BJP for inducting him, Maurya said that some others from BSP will also be joining the BJP soon.

“I thank the BJP leaders. Though this party is new to me, the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been giving leadership opportunities to “sarva samaj" has inspired me to join the party," he said.

Welcoming Maurya to the party, Keshav Prasad Maurya said, “He is a very senior leader and his political acumen was misused by BSP. I welcome him to our party. The increasing lawlessness in UP under the Samajwadi Party government is also supported by the BSP, and we will fight this."

Right after Maurya announced his exit from the party, saying that he felt “suffocated and cannot continue in the party any more", Mayawati had lashed out at him and said that he had done the party a “great favour" by leaving.

“Maurya’s decision followed my refusal to give him, his daughter and son tickets for the coming election. I would have expelled him in a few days. BSP does not tolerate nepotism, while Maurya believed in dynasty politics and expected tickets for his children," she had said.

However, the loss of a popular backward caste face with less than a year to go for the election might dampen Mayawati’s chances of riding the prevalent anti-incumbency wave in the state back to power. The party had won 80 out of the 403 assembly seats in the 2012 state assembly election.

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