BSP friends change parties, turn foes

Lalji Varma, till about two years ago, was one of the most important leaders in the BSP after Mayawati….reports Asian Lite News

Old friends in Uttar Pradesh have turned foes and are now battling against each other in the Lok Sabha elections.

Their friendship dates back to the days when they were members of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) but after their ouster from BSP, they have taken different paths and are now pitted against each other.

In Ambedkar Nagar, the sitting BSP MP Ritesh Pandey has joined the BJP and is now the BJP candidate here. His main rival is Lalji Varma from the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Lalji Varma, till about two years ago, was one of the most important leaders in the BSP after Mayawati. He was the leader of the legislature party and was one of Mayawati’s most trusted lieutenants.

It is hard to say what went wrong and why Lalji Varma was suddenly expelled from the party. He joined SP and became MLA from the Katehri assembly segment.

SP has now fielded him from the Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seat where he is pitted against Ritesh Pandey.

Pandey won his first Lok Sabha election on a BSP ticket in 2019. He was even made the leader of the BSP parliamentary party but things soured and Ritesh joined BJP. His father Rakesh Pandey, SP MLA from Jalalpur, has also shifted loyalties to BJP.

The two leaders who once held the BSP blue flag together are now holding the saffron (BJP) and green (SP) flags separately.

A similar situation can be seen in Jaunpur where leaders from BSP are facing each other.

Babu Singh Kushwaha, a former BSP minister, once enjoyed a position in the party that no one else can boast of having ever enjoyed. However, when things started souring, he left the party and is now contesting the Jaunpur Lok Sabha seat on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

Pitted against him is the sitting BSP MP Shyam Singh Yadav. Yadav, disillusioned by BSP, was frequently seen accompanying Rahul Gandhi during the latter’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra when it entered UP.

Aware of his ‘activities’, Mayawati announced the Lok Sabha ticket for Shrikala Dhananjay Singh, wife of former MP and mafia don Dhananjay Singh. After Shrikala filed her nomination, Mayawati changed her time and called back Shyam Singh Yadav to contest the polls.

Today, Babu Singh Kushwaha is facing Shyam Singh Yadav and though both have a BSP background, they are challenging each other.

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