With Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh only a few months away, BSP was jolted today, with its senior leader Swami Prasad Maurya quitting the party while attacking its chief Mayawati who slammed the “habitual party-hopper”.
62-year-old Maurya, the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, said he felt “suffocated” and accused Mayawati of “auctioning” tickets for next year’s Assembly polls.
The MLA from Padrauna Assembly constituency and a minister in the former Mayawati government left BSP amid speculation that he might join the ruling Samajwadi Party and could be made a minister when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expands his Council of Ministers on June 27.
“I feel suffocated and cannot continue in the party any more,” he said at a hurriedly-convened press conference here.
“Today I have written a letter informing her (Mayawati) that I am relinquishing all party posts,” he said.
Attacking the BSP chief, Maurya said, “Tickets are being openly auctioned by Mayawati on a large scale. She is not making the right choice of candidates. Tickets are not only on sale in the party, they are being auctioned.”
He also accused Mayawati of “murdering” the values and principles of B R Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshi Ram.
To a question, Maurya said he would announce his next course of action soon.
He is said to be in close touch with senior SP leaders Shivpal Singh Yadav and Mohd Azam Khan, giving rise to rumours that he was cosying up to the ruling party in the state.
Soon after Maurya announced his resignation, Mayawati told media that he had quit as he was unhappy after she refused to accept his demand for giving tickets not only to him but also to his son and daughter.
“I would have expelled in a few days. He has done a great favour to the party by leaving it himself,” she said.
Slamming Maurya as a “habitual party-hopper”, she said she had not only accepted him in her party fold but also had given him the coveted post of LoP in the state Assembly.
She dared Maurya to disclose as to how much money he had paid her for his party ticket to contest the last polls.
Mayawati said Maurya was insisting for tickets not only for himself but also for his son and daughter. “I said nothing doing. BSP does not encourage dynastic politics,” she said.
“May be Samajwadi Party will give tickets to Maurya and his son and daughter,” she said.