Two Uttar Pradesh legislators join BSP


Lucknow : The only member of Uma Bharti's Bharatiya Janshakti Party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly and a Samajwadi Party legislator Wednesday joined Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

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Samajwadi Party's Kazim Ali Khan, who has a track record of jumping fences, and Ram Sewak Singh resigned from their parties and profusely praised Mayawati at a press conference here.

Before the defections, the first since the new state assembly was constituted this month, the strength of the BSP was 206 in a house of 403 with one seat vacant.

Political observers said Kazim Khan might offer his Swar-Tanda seat in Rampur district to Mayawati, who has to be elected to the state legislature within six months of her assumption of office.

Kazim Khan, son of former Congress MP Begum Noor Bano, began his career with the Congress and joined BSP when it made him a minister.

When the government headed by Mayawati fell, Kazim Khan promptly crossed over to the Samajwadi Party. He is back with the BSP now.

A scion of the erstwhile royal family of Rampur, Kazim Khan justified his actions: "I never switched sides for any personal gains."

He said he became disillusioned with the Samajwadi Party because of Azam Khan, a minister in the previous government.

"What pained me even more was (then) chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's helplessness before Azam Khan's despotic ways. Mulayam refused to pay any heed to my repeated complaints about Azam's attitude.

"The worst part came when the chief minister turned a blind eye to Azam's bid to sabotage my election by putting up a rebel candidate against me," Kazim Khan said.

Said Ram Sewak Singh, a BJP legislator for four terms from Binawar in Budaun district: "I was inspired to switch over to the BSP because it has done unparalleled work to uplift the Kurmi community to which I belong."

He said he was "highly impressed" by Mayawati's speeches during the election campaign.

Mayawati's trusted ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha were present at the press conference.

"We heartily welcome both Kazim Ali Khan and Ram Sewak Singh in BSP," Siddiqui said.