As BJP rewards turncoats in UP, old cadres left fuming

By Faisal Fareed,

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In 1968, a Bollywood film Aankhen starring Dharmendra and Mala Sinha had a beautiful song in the voice of evergreen Lata Mangeshkar:
Gairo pe karam, apno pe sitam, aiy jaane-e-wafa, yeh zulm na kar

In the run up of UP assembly polls, the song aptly sums up the situation of old and dedicated cadre of the Bhartiya Janata Party. Many die hard ideological workers, who retire with their dream of getting coveted posts in organization and chance for contesting elections, are now mute spectator to the development in party where turncoats who have recently joined party are bestowed with plum party posts and even ticket to contest the polls.

The most recent is the appointment of former MP Dara Singh Chauhan as national president of OBC cell. Chauhan was earlier in BSP.

He is not the lone case in BJP. In UP nearly 20 sitting or former legislators have so far joined BJP. Obviously they have joined the party for not becoming merely ‘worker’ but for contesting polls. Besides them nearly 100 turncoats are in line demanding assembly tickets. Rewarding turncoats with party ticket is nothing new to BJP. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls when BJP swept UP winning 71 seats, it had given 20 percent tickets to turncoats.

The present situation is that politicians like Swami Prasad Maurya, Brijesh Pathak, Dara Singh Chauhan, Jugal Kishore (all earlier in BSP) and Ganga Charan Rajput have been aptly rewarded by the BJP. Many of them in their previous role did not hesitate to oppose BJP tooth and nail.

There are many who benefited during 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The MP from Mohanlalganj, Kaushal Kishore, a Dalit, had communist leaning. He even formed his own Rashtrvadi Communist Party but joined BJP and was given ticket. He now heads SC cell of the BJP in state.

Another leader, S P Singh Baghel has an interesting story. He was a security officer for Mulayam but joined politics. First he became MP thrice on Samajwadi Party symbol but joined BSP and even contested against Dimple Yadav. He was also appointed as national president of backward cell.

Another leader Rajesh Verma has a three years experience in BJP. In 1999 he had stopped BJP from winning in Sitapur. He was in BSP and became MP but now state unit of backward cell.

Swati Singh was another person who had little to do with politics. However her husband Dayashanker Singh is a BJP leader. Singh gave some controversial statement against BSP president Mayawati and BSP protested and allegedly gave controversial statements against Singh’s family. Swati also became vocal and now she heads the women’s wing of the BJP.