LUCKNOW: In a dramatic turn of events, senior Samajwadi Party leader, former minister and old Mulayam loyalist Ambika Chaudhary joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Saturday even as he walked into a press conference being addressed by BSP supremo Mayawati with a bouquet on Saturday.
Coming as the first major casualty for the SP in the aftermath of the internal feud in the party's family, Chaudhary’s steps were a clear indication of his intentions.
"I have decided to join BSP as I was feeling suffocated in SP after Akhilesh took over as party chief, staging a coup against Netaji," he said adding that the CM's move did not go down well with the party rank and file.
Welcoming Chaudhary into the party fold, Mayawati, without wasting time, awarded him with the party ticket from his traditional Phephna seat in Ballia district.
Chaudhary was holding the revenue portfolio in Akhilesh's ministry when he was removed by the CM in a reshuffle early last year. Since then, he had been sulking and chose to stand with Shivpal during the entire family feud.
"The present scenario of Samajwadi Party, which is facing a lot of resentment from the party cadre, may lead to BJP's victory in the ensuing elections," he indicated.
On the likelihood of former state unit chief of SP Shivpal Yadav too joining the blue brigade after Chaudhary, BSP chief Mayawati said she would think of it when Yadav approaches her.
Earlier, the BSP chief called the SP family feud a stage managed drama to divert people’s attention from lawlessness prevailing in the state under Akhilesh and his poor governance, while she also criticised RSS and BJP for trying to question reservation to the minority communities.
She rapped the state government for failing to stop the incidents like Bulandshahr rape, Mathura case and Muzaffarnagar riots.
The BSP supremo also targeted the Congress party saying it was gasping and needed SP oxygen to survive in the state’s political arena. Mayawati also cautioned the Congress against entering into any alliance with the Samajwadis saying people might not vote for the tainted “jungleraaj” of Samajwadis.
“The political status of the Congress in UP can be gauged from the fact that they have not been able to release a single list so far despite even undertaking rath yatras and khaat sabhas,” said Mayawati.
“ My advice to Congress is that do not ally with Samajwadi Party under threat from BJP; rather join hands with small secular parties,” she said.
The BSP chief accused the BJP of following nepotism which, she said, was reflected in their first list of candidates for the elections. She also condemned the statement given by RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya who on Thursday said the country should now do away with caste-based reservation.
“BJP, RSS cannot take away reservation prescribed by BR Ambedkar in the Constitution,” the BSP leader asserted.
The four-time UP CM also termed the BJP as anti-minority claiming that the party failed to provide ticket even to a single Muslim candidate.