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Former BSP Cadres Ascend as Leaders in Rival Parties

As the election campaign gains momentum, these one-time BSP leaders are drawing up strategies to ensure the victory of their party over the BSP….writes Amita Verma

 They had toiled day and night to build the party. They were handpicked by late Kanshi Ram for the Bahujan Samaj movement that he converted into a political campaign in 1984 when he formed the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Today, 40 years later, the foot soldiers of the BSP are leaders in other parties while the BSP is gasping for breath.

As the election campaign gains momentum, these one-time BSP leaders are drawing up strategies to ensure the victory of their party over the BSP.

Talking to IANS on condition of anonymity, one of the former BSP leaders said, “It is Mayawati who is solely responsible for reducing the BSP to a political nonentity. She strayed from the ideology of late Kanshi Ram, ignored those who subscribed to the party ideology and gave preference to outsiders. The loyalists naturally moved away and the party was reduced to its present position.”

Dinanath Bhaskar, one of the founding members of BSP and a close and trusted associate of late Kanshi Ram, was a minister in the first SP-BSP government in 1993.

As Mayawati moved to the centre stage of politics in the BSP in 1996, Bhaskar quit the party and joined the Samajwadi Party. In 2015, he walked out of the SP and joined the BJP. Today, he is a BJP MLA from the Aurai Assembly segment.

Raj Bahadur, once a state BSP president, was known for his proximity to late Kanshi Ram but in 1995 when Mayawati became chief minister for the first time, he moved away and later joined the Congress.

Dr Masood, was the education minister in the Mayawati government in 1993. Later he was expelled from the party and his political journey later took him to the SP, RLD and then Congress.

R.K. Chaudhary, one of the tallest BSP leaders during the time Kanshi Ram called the shots, was expelled from the BSP in 2001, called back later and shown the door again.

He then joined the Congress and is now with Samajwadi Party. He is the party’s candidate from the Mohanlalganj seat and will be challenging Union Minister Kaushal Kishore.

Om Prakash Rajbhar was one of the BSP’s foot soldiers in the early years. He left the party in 2001, joined the Apna Dal and now heads his own party — Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP). He prides himself as a kingmaker in contemporary state politics and knows the art of remaining in the news.

Babu Singh Kushwaha, once a trusted lieutenant of Mayawati, fell out of favour when his name emerged in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in 2011. Today he heads the Jan Adhikar party and continues to work for his community.

Two senior BSP leaders, who faced Mayawati’s wrath for unexplained reasons in 2020, are Lalji Varma and Ram Achal Rajbhar. Today, both are senior members in Samajwadi Party and Lalji Varma is the party candidate from Ambedkar Nagar.

Former BSP Minister Inderjit Saroj is another leader who made his way from BSP to SP.

While SP has been the main beneficiary of exits from the BSP, the BJP has also gained leaders from Mayawati’s party.

Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak started his political career in the BSP and now is among the top state leaders in the BJP.

BJP Minister Jaiveer Singh also has his roots in the BSP.

Two former BSP ministers, Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Nakul Dubey, have found a haven for themselves in the Congress.

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