Swami Prasad Maurya, BSP’s backward caste face after quitting the party became the most high profile name among the BSP leaders. Especially among the OBCs, who have stopped supporting BJP from past two years.
Six OBCs are among total 10 MLAs who have left BSP or have been expelled from the party. As per the sources, most of the MLAs are expected to join BJP. Maurya has accused Mayawati of ignoring backward castes. Maurya’s supporters said that he will bring many BSP leaders which includes sitting MLAs into BJP.
Udai Lal Maurya, Shivpur MLA; former MLA Anil Maurya, Bhagwati Prasad, former state minister and Vinay Shakya, former MLC joined the BJP with Maurya. Shakya said that six BSP MLAs from the Kushwaha-Maurya caste group will also join BJP.
“It is just the beginning. Many from BSP will join BJP in the coming days. Some will do so on Wednesday when Mauryaji reaches Lucknow,” he added.
Exit of Maurya’s has forced Mayawati to focus more on upper castes and Muslims votes. She is also trying to promote a new team of OBC leaders. BJP looks highly dependent on OBC’s support in the 2017 Assembly elections. It has introduced many former BSP leaders mostly from non-Yadav backward castes, a community that is seen to be not attached to any one leader or party.
Before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had introduced S P Singh Baghel BSP’s Rajya Sabha MP who belonged to Gaderia caste and has good presence among the backwards. He resigned from his Rajya Sabha seat and contested from Firozabad. But he lost to Akshay Yadav from SP. He was later then appointed as the president of BJP’s OBC Morcha.
After Lok Sabha elections, BJP introduced again the former BSP leaders. The leaders included Jugal Kishore Rajya Sabha MP, a Dalit and a once powerful coordinator considered close to Mayawati and Dara Singh Chauhan an OBC leader who was the leader of BSP in Lok Sabha before 2014. Chauhan comes from Lonia Chauhan, a backward caste that is mostly based in east UP districts around Varanasi and Azamgarh. He was an MP from Ghosi seat of Mau.
Dinanath Bhaskar, a Dalit and former minister joined BJP from BSP. Before him, two more Dalit leaders Srinath MLC from Deoria and Udaibhan BSP coordinator from Basti had joined the party.
Two other OBC leaders of BSP Parmeshwar Lal Saini and Lokesh Prajapati former MLCs have also joined the BJP. Ram Bhual Nishad, former state minister from Gorakhpur also joined the party.
Maurya, who pledged to finish Mayawati in politics is now working to make sure that former BSP leaders must be present at his Lucknow rally on September 22.