Suspended BSP legislator joins Samajwadi Party


Lucknow : In the latest instance of defections in Uttar Pradesh, a suspended legislator of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Saturday switched loyalties to the Samajwadi Party.

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A criminal-turned-politician, Guddu Pandit had also been denied a BSP ticket for the next state assembly election slated early 2012 for his alleged continued involvement in unlawful activities.

However, the Samajwadi Party sought to brush-off the allegations against Pandit.

Party state unit chief Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, who is the leader of opposition in the state assembly, however, sought to justify Pandit’s induction into their party.

Speaking at a press conference where his induction was made public, they said Pandit had told them the cases registered against him were politically motivated.

Pandit has as many as 15 cases of heinous crimes pending against him in his home district Bulandshahr, from where he represents the Dibai state assembly seat.

The defection comes close on the heels of some eight defections over the past three days. While seven Samajwadi Party legislators crossed over to BSP between Thursday and Friday, one of the BSP had switched loyalties to the Samajwadi Party Wednesday.

Reacting to Pandit’s defection, Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati said: “We had already suspended Guddu Pandit after he refused to mend his ways, and we had also denied a party ticket to him for the next assembly election for the same reason.”

“Pandit had been given a place in the party on the condition that he would reform himself and refrain from indulging in criminal activities, but he failed to keep his word. We suspended him after he was held guilty of kidnapping a candidate in the panchayat elections,” she said in a statement here.

Acusing SP of being a “haven for outlaws and criminals”, she said: “I think Pandit has now found his natural home as SP already has a huge pack of criminals on its rolls.”