LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ashok Bajpai resigned from the Uttar Pradesh Council today. He is the fourth SP MLC to quit the UP Council in the last 10 days.
A former SP leader and party MLC Ambika Chaudhary, who had joined the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, also relinquished his Council seat today.
Chaudhary made it clear that he is quitting the Council as he has no right to retain his seat since he had left Samajwadi Party last year. Chaudhry clarified that he was resigning only from the Council and not the BSP.
Meanwhile, Ashok Bajpai said he had no option left, but to part ways, as he was feeling suffocated and out of place in the party under its current leadership.
He expressed his dismay over the current leadership's treatment of the party founders. “I was deeply hurt with the treatment being meted out to Netaji. He stands humiliated in his own party. Even I was feeling slighted. So I decided to leave,” he said but refused to say whether or not he will join the BJP.
Two days back, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, apparently baffled by the series of resignations, told the suspected fence-sitters that they were free to jump to the other side. “But don’t make silly excuses,” he told them.
Samajwadi Party has been facing defections since late July when its MLCs started quitting one after the other from the Council in a bid to join the BJP.
It started off with the resignation of Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh on July 29. They were followed by Dr. Sarojini Agarwal, who left the Council and the party to join the BJP. Her daughter Himani resigned as SP Yuvjan Sabha’s national general secretary the same day.
It is not just the SP. The BSP is also facing desertions. A BSP MLC Thakur Jaiveer Singh had quit the Council to join the BJP on July 31.
It is widely perceived that the SP family feud, which had damaged the party's prospects in the UP Assembly elections, is far from over. “The party is falling apart. It is no longer a cohesive force. The present leadership is unable to keep the flock together,” said a senior SP leader, on condition of anonymity.
Even Mulayam is not ready to mend the fence. Not on talking terms with his son, the SP patriarch replaced the aides of Akhilesh Yadav with his own trusted men in the party’s Lohia Trust on Tuesday.