Mayawati later convened a meeting of around 250 senior leaders of the party and explained the prevailing situation to them.
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party on Wednesday felled its senior most leader, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, when party supremo Mayawati expelled him and his son Afzal Siddiqui from the party for a period of six years.
Naseemuddin Siddiqui, one of the most trusted lieutenants of the BSP president and also the Muslim face of the party, has been charged with indiscipline.
Within hours of Mr Siddiqui’s expulsion, a number of BSP leaders also put in their papers. They include former MLA and party state secretary Irshad Khan, Dr Kitbatullah (Basti), former MLC Pradeep Singh and several district level leaders.
Ms Mayawati later convened a meeting of around 250 senior leaders of the party and explained the prevailing situation to them.
Mr Siddiqui issued a press statement saying he was not in Lucknow and would soon hold a press conference to expose the truth. “I have given 35 years to the party and this is what I get in return,” he said in the statement.
Announcing his expulsion, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra said that Mr Siddiqui had made considerable ‘benami’ property in western UP, which included slaughter houses.
Mr Misra added that Mr Siddiqui had cut deals with a lot of rich individuals privately, and had sought favours from them, promising to return them as soon as the BSP formed government in UP. “He was also found guilty of forcibly taking money from party workers and had allegedly taken money while giving tickets to undeserving people which led to the party’s losses in the Assembly elections,” Mr Misra said at a press conference here on Wednesday. “The party had earlier given him the charge of Madhya Pradesh but he did not take any interest in his assignment, which amounts to indiscipline,” he stated.
Mr Misra said when the party chief called Mr Siddiqui to seek his clarification, he did not take her calls.
Reports of action against Mr Siddiqui had started trickling out of the BSP camp when Ms Mayawati shifted him to Madhya Pradesh in April. Mr Siddiqui had been divested of UP charge after the party faced a humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections.
A former BSP leader said, “Ms Mayawati has finally found a scapegoat to absolve herself of all charges of selling tickets for a price. Everyone knew that Naseemuddin Siddiqui was collecting money for her but it is wrong to put all the blame on him.”
BJP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who quit the BSP last year, told reporters, “The BSP worked like a gang of looters and Naseemuddin Siddiqui was its head. He would collect money from all sources and give it to Mayawati”.