Mayawati siding with BJP, alleges SP

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Lucknow, Oct 29 (PTI) The Samajwadi Party on Thursday attacked BSP chief Mayawati, accusing her of siding with the BJP and fielding a candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls without seeking support from opposition parties in the state.

The statement came hours after Mayawati suspended seven of her MLAs for anti-party activities after they opposed the nomination of Ramji Gautam as the party candidate for the elections to the Rajya Sabha.

Amid speculation that the MLAs could switch sides in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati said to ensure the defeat of Samajwadi Party candidates in future MLC elections, her party will even vote for the BJP or any other party's nominee.

Reacting to it, SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhury told PTI, 'Her statement proves that the BSP had a prior understanding with the BJP. Mayawati’s statement is confession of this.' 'The BSP chief has exposed herself,' he said.

The SP leader said due to an internal agreement with the BJP, Mayawati fielded her candidate despite not having enough strength in the assembly and now saying that she can support even the BJP to defeat the SP in future elections. Chaudhary said, 'The BSP, which has only 18 MLAs, now has only 10–11 MLAs in the assembly, whereas the support of 38 MLAs is necessary to win a Rajya Sabha seat. Despite this, Mayawati made Ramji Gautam her party candidate.' 'She did not seek support from any opposition party before doing so. On the other hand, the BJP fielded eight candidates despite being in a position to win nine seats,' the SP leader said.

After suspending her party MLAs, Mayawati said as soon as the rebel MLAs join any party, the BSP would take action against them under the anti-defection law.

Mayawati said her party will leave no stone unturned to defeat SP candidates in the future even if it means voting for candidates of the BJP or any other party. Any candidate who dominates over the SP's second candidate will get BSP MLAs' vote, she said in a statement.

In a jolt to the BSP on Wednesday, six party MLAs reportedly met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, hinting that that they may switch sides.

Four of the rebel MLAs also filed an affidavit, saying their signatures on the party candidate Gautam's nomination for the Rajya Sabha polls had been 'forged'. The move turned out to be futile with the returning officer still accepting Gautam's nomination as the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate for the November 9 Rajya Sabha elections. PTI ABN RDK RDK