Mayawati calls meet to take stock of rout


Lucknow : Amid hectic activity in the Samajwadi Party (SP) camp for the swearing in of the new chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, and government formation, outgoing Chief Minister Mayawati has called a meeting of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national executive Sunday.

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In the meeting, called at the party headquarters in the state capital, Mayawati would be dissecting her party’s poor show at the hustings and brainstorm with party leaders and assess the political situation in the state, a close aide to Mayawati told IANS.

The meeting will be attended by the new elected members of the state assembly, member of the legislative council, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members of the BSP.

All state party units of the BSP, district office bearers and zonal coordinators have also been invited for the National Executive meet.

The party, which plummeted from 203 seats in 2007 to 80 seats in the 2012 state assembly polls, has already blamed the “mass voting by Muslims” in favour of the Samajwadi Party (SP) as the biggest reason for the party’s debacle in the assembly elections.

Swami Prasad Maurya, the state president of the BSP and close aide of Mayawati, has been appointed the BSP’s legislature party leader.

It is reliably learnt that Mayawati might opt for a Rajya Sabha seat — Uttar Pradesh will send 12 Upper House members in the coming by-polls later this month, and move to national politics.

With the NHRM and MNREGA scams out to hound her in times to come, and a hostile government in the state, this is the “best and the safest way ahead for Behenji”, a party leader said.

The state politics, sources say, would be left to her close aide Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Maurya.

At its present strength of 80 in the legislative assembly, Mayawati can send two members to the Rajya Sabha.

Sources say that Mayawati’s entry into the Upper House was a near certainty, the outgoing chief minister might pitchfork her close aide and former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh to the Rajya Sabha.

This would not only keep Singh by Behenji’s side for “advise and administrative help” but would also “insulate” him to a larger extent from possible probes in his role as Uttar Pradesh’s cabinet secretary.