Mayawati Suspends Seven Rebel MLAs, Says May Even Vote For BJP In MLC Polls To Defeat Samajwadi Party
Mayawati, speaks during a campaign rally in Ghaziabad, India, on Monday, May 4, 2009. Uttar Pradesh. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg News)

Mayawati Suspends Seven Rebel MLAs, Says May Even Vote For BJP In MLC Polls To Defeat Samajwadi Party

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BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday suspended seven of her party's MLAs, who had opposed the nomination of its official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha, for anti-party activities.

Amid speculation that the MLAs could switch sides in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati also said to ensure the defeat of Samajwadi Party candidates in future MLC elections, her party will even vote for BJP or any other party's nominee.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said as soon as the rebel MLAs join any party, the BSP would take action against them under the anti-defection law. She also said the party organisation has been informed that the suspended legislators should not be invited to any BSP function.

Those suspended are Chaudhary Aslam Ali, Hakim Lal Bind, Mohammad Mujtaba Siddiqui, Aslam Raini, Sushma Patel, Hargovind Bhargava and Bandana Singh, according to a party statement.

She said the suspended lawmakers would not be fielded by the BSP in any future election.

People from the castes and religion of the suspended MLAs would be fielded against them. BSP would continue to nurture people from the castes, communities and religions the suspended MLAs represented, Mayawati said.

"Their communities would not be punished for their deeds."

Mayawati said her party would leave no stone unturned to defeat SP candidates in the future even if it meant voting for candidates of the BJP or any other party.

Any candidate who dominates over the Samajwadi Party's second candidate will get BSP MLAs' vote, she said in a statement.

In a jolt to the BSP on Wednesday, six party MLAs reportedly met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and later threw hints that they may switch sides.

Four of the group of rebels also filed an affidavit, saying their signatures on the party candidate Gautam's nomination for the Rajya Sabha polls had been "forged".

The move turned out to be futile with the Returning Officer still accepting Gautam's nomination as the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate for the Nov. 9 biennial elections for the 10 Uttar Pradesh seats that are falling vacant.

Mayawati claimed that when the Samajwadi Party fielded its senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP general secretary Satish Misra tried to contact SP chief Akhilesh Yadav over phone but failed. He later contacted Ram Gopal Yadav who said the SP would not field another candidate.

By ignoring Misra's attempts to contact Akhilesh Yadav, the SP has not only insulted the BSP leader but the entire Brahmin community of Uttar Pradesh, she said.

The BSP chief also said she was of the view that in case Akhilesh Yadav fields his wife Dimple Yadav, then the BSP should not field a candidate. But the SP betrayed BSP by fielding an Independent, she said.

Mayawati said that dropping the 1995 guest house case against the Samajwadi Party and having an alliance with it in the Lok Sabha polls was a "big mistake".

The decision was taken in a haste, she said, adding had the party thought about the issues in-depth, the mistake would not have been committed.

She alleged that in June 1995 an attempt was made on her life, but it failed.

As soon as the alliance was decided, SP leadership was pressing for the withdrawal of the case, Mayawati said, claiming, "The SP once again betrayed the BSP, which his (Akhilesh's) father (Mulayam Singh Yadav) had been doing all along."

In a word of advice to the Samajwadi Party, she said the party should do politics of principles if it has to survive in the long run.

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