Senior BSP leader Indrajit Saroj today claimed that he has been stripped of all posts by Mayawati over his refusal to raise funds for the party for the upcoming local body polls in Uttar Pradesh. The party, however, issued a statement claiming that the erstwhile confidant of Mayawati had struck a deal with some other political party and was now making allegations to tarnish the BSP’s image. “In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the assembly elections earlier this year, there had been tremendous pressure from the top leadership to arrange funds through our supporters in panchayats. At a meeting of the party in Lucknow last month, I tried to explain to Mayawati that it is becoming increasingly difficult to ask for money as our party was getting decimated and losing election after election”, Saroj told PTI here.
“The demands were unreasonable. For every assembly segment where the party was considered strong, we were asked to arrange Rs 15-22 lakh in addition to Rs 9 lakh from every constituency where we were weak,” he claimed. “Finally I made up my mind that I will no longer be involved in fund gathering and devote myself to strengthening the organization. My decision was conveyed to Mayawati through party colleagues. She called me yesterday to inform that I was no longer needed in the party and that she was divesting me of all the posts that I was holding,” Saroj said.
He was the BSP’s national general secretary and one of the senior most ministers in Mayawati’s cabinet while she was in power during 2007-2012. Saroj was a four-time MLA from Manjhanpur in the neighboring district of Kaushambi, a seat he lost in the latest assembly polls which were swept by the BJP. His severing of ties with the party comes at a time when the BSP has been deserted by a number of its heavyweights, most notable being Swami Prasad Maurya, who is now a minister in the BJP government and Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who was expelled shortly after the assembly poll debacle.
Saroj also claimed “my humiliation has angered many party activists from the Pasi community who have now begun to wonder whether any non-Jatav will be treated with respect. Pasi BSP men will be resigning in large numbers from the party’s membership in the next few days”. “It seems Mayawati has made up her mind to finish off her own party”, Saroj lamented. Meanwhile, a statement was issued here by the party’s zonal coordinator Ashok Gautam, saying “Saroj has not been expelled. He has himself made up his mind to look for greener pastures. We suspect that he has already struck a deal with some other party and is making false allegations against the BSP leadership only to prepare the ground”.