JAIPUR: Former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati poured out her anger in a series of tweets on Tuesday after all six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs joined ruling Congress in Rajasthan. Significantly, the move which has taken the Congress tally to 106 in the 200-member assembly, well past the majority mark of 101, comes just two months before the local body elections in the state.
With all 6 of her MLAs in Rajasthan switching sides, the angry BSP supremo was quick to call Congress leaders as "Cheats".
Mayawati tweeted that: "The Congress has always been against BR Ambedkar and his ideology. That is why Ambedkar had to resign as the country's first law minister. The Congress never honoured him with a Bharat Ratna, which is sad and shameful." She further added: "The Congress party in Rajasthan, by creating a split among the BSP MLAs, has once again proved that it is untrustworthy and a cheat."
Ties between the Congress and Mayawati have been strained ever since the Rajasthan elections last year. The BSP had won six seats in the 2018 Rajasthan assembly polls but almost through the past nine months, the BSP MLAs had been in touch with Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
Finally, late on Monday, all six BSP MLAs met Assembly Speaker CP Joshi and submitted a letter informing him about their decision to join the Congress.
With Mayawati accusing the Congress of betraying her party, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday defended the decision of the six BSP MLAs to switch over to the Congress. Speaking to the media, Gehlot said the Congress party is not like the BJP and claimed that the Congress "did not try to buy" the BSP MLAs. "The decision to join the Congress was their own," Ashok Gehlot asserted.
"The BJP may have tried to buy the BSP MLAs. But we are not like the BJP. In Karnataka, the BJP broke our party to form government. But the six BSP MLAs have collectively joined the Congress. Mayawati should understand that no one in the Congress government managed the BSP MLAs. They have joined on their own," Ashok Gehlot said in defence of the BSP MLAs who have come over to the Congress.
Speaking in the wake of the series of Mayawati tweets, Gehlot also reminded the BSP chief of a bit of history: “Mayawati should remember that we in the Congress at one time had agreed to be the junior partner to the BSP to help them run the government in UP. She should show some large-heartedness and realize that in different states the ground realities are different. She should accept this decision with grace as these 6 MLAs have joined the Congress in the interest of the state.”
With Mayawati and Gehlot taking potshots at each other, ties between the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party are bound to be even more strained though with 6 BSP MLAs switching sides, the Congress government in Rajasthan is now on a firmer foundation.