LUCKNOW: After removing Jai Prakash Singh as party Vice President and finally expelling him from the party organisation for his uncharitable remarks not only against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi but PM Narendra Modi also, BSP chief Mayawati appointed Ramji Lal Gautam as party's new vice-president.
The BSP chief made the reshuffle in party organisation after her meeting with party coordinators in New Delhi on late Saturday night. Notably, floating the proposal to project Mayawati as the next Prime Minister after 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Jai Prakash had discarded Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi's credentials to lead the country calling him son of a foreigner mother while addressing party workers in Lucknow recently.
Moreover, in the same meet, Jai Prakash had addressed PM Narendra Modi as 'Gabbar Singh' who would be finished by the BSP chief. The party press release claimed that the action against Jai Prakash came through only due to his unsavoury comments against the leaders of rival parties. Meanwhile, newly- appointed V-P of the party, Ramji Lal Gautam, 37, is a Jatav, the caste to which Mayawati belongs and had been party in-charge in Telangana.
Expelled Jai Prakash was also a young face. The BSP chief also brought about some other major changes vis-a-vis upcoming polls to three state assemblies - Madhya, Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. With an eye on a tie-up with Congress in MP, Mayawati appointed her trusted lieutenant and Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Siddharth as Madhya Pradesh in-charge. Siddharth, it is believed, had played a major role in getting a JD(S) -Congress government installed to keep the BJP at bay after a hung assembly in Karnataka. Mayawati even replaced party's Rajasthan in charge Dharamveer Singh Ashok with Munqad Ali.
As per the sources, Dharamveer had to pay for Jai Prakash's behaviour as the latter's name for proposed by him the party chief had made her brother Anand Kumar to step down saying that the party did not want to be seen as the one promoting nepotism and dynastic politics. Interestingly, Munqad Ali's son Salman was removed from the party for allegedly encroaching upon some Dalit properties in Bijnor a couple of days ago. However, the appointment of Munad Ali, national general secretary of BSP, seems to have come owing to his personal clout among party cadre in communally sensitive west UP region. Munquad had been a close aide of expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui.
Apparently, Mayawati had gone by his advice in giving maximum tickets to Muslims in 2017 UP Assembly elections which the party lost badly. Siddiqui has now joined Congress party. Mayawati also appointed party MLC from UP Athar Singh Rao in-charge of Haryana where she is seeking an alliance with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).