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6 BSP MLAs, 1 BJP legislator join Samajwadi Party ahead of UP assembly polls

6 BSP MLAs Mujtaba Siddiqui, Hakim Lal Bind, Sushma Patel, Aslam Chaudhary, Hargovind Bhargava and Aslam Raini and BJP MLA Rakesh Rathore joined the SP Saturday.  

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Lucknow: Ahead of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, six rebel MLAs from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and one from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the presence of SP leader Akhilesh Yadav at the party headquarters Saturday. 

BSP MLAs Mujtaba Siddiqui, Hakim Lal Bind, Sushma Patel, Aslam Chaudhary, Hargovind Bhargava and Aslam Raini and Rakesh Rathore, BJP MLA from Sitapur constituency, also switched sides today.  

The BSP MLAs were suspended for anti-party activities in October last year.

Before formally joining the party, all the MLAs met Akhilesh Yadav Friday. This was the second meeting of the BSP MLAS with the SP leader after June.  

Rebel BJP MLA from Sitapur Rakesh Rathore had met Akhilesh Yadav earlier in September and had hit out at his own party’s government in the state several times. In May this year, Rathore said lawmakers like him “do not have any stature” and if he makes too many statements to the media “it may lead to a sedition case” against him.

MLA Rakesh Rathore was critical of the Uttar Pradesh government’s handling of the Covid pandemic and medical services in Sitapur district.

‘Many more to join SP’

While addressing the media Saturday, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said: “Many people want to join SP. When the time comes, you will see it. People are so unhappy with BJP that they’ll be wiped out in the next polls. After MLA Rakesh Rathore’s joining,CM might change his slogan from ‘mera parivar BJP parivar’ to ‘mera parivar bhagta parivar’”. 

Akhilesh also added that the BJP government has not fulfilled the promises made in the 2017 UP polls manifesto. “BJP has cheated farners, youth and women. Where are the laptops and tablets which they had promised earlier? Where is the free one GB data which they were about to give to the students?” said Akhilesh Yadav at the press conference.

A source in the SP told ThePrint that “some more” ex-MLAs and ex-MPS from BSP, BJP & Congress may join SP in the coming days. “Some current BJP MLAs are also in touch with Samajwadi Party. If they are not given tickets, they will switch sides.” he said. 

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)


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