Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya today hit out at Mayawati, claiming that she had considered entering the Lok Sabha by contesting bypoll from Phulpur but later developed cold feet. The beleaguered BSP supremo had recently resigned from Rajya Sabha after being allegedly prevented from speaking on issues concerning Dalits by members of the ruling BJP. Speculations were rife that Mayawati might consider contesting bypoll in Phulpur which is at present held by Maurya. “Mayawati had fancied entering the Lok Sabha by contesting by-election from Phulpur. But then she recalled the 2014 general election results when the BJP had polled more votes than the SP and the BSP combined. So she has chickened out,” he told reporters in Soraon, about 40 km from the city.
After taking over as the deputy chief minister in March, Maurya would be required to get elected to the state assembly or legislative council within six months of assuming charge. This would also entail his vacating the Lok Sabha seat from where he had made a sensational debut in the last general elections when he defeated his nearest Samajwadi Party rival by a margin of more than three lakh votes.
Mocking the SP and the BSP, Maurya said, “Mayawati may even try convincing her bhatija (nephew) Akhilesh (former CM and SP chief). The seat will still be retained by the BJP.”
Maurya, who is also the BJP’s state unit chief, said, “I was in Soraon to attend a party workers’ meeting. I asked our party men to keep a close watch on implementation of schemes launched by the Centre as well as the state governments. This will keep corruption at bay.”