Samajwadi Party facing revolt in the ranks

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Lucknow, Feb 19 (IANS) Swami Prasad Maurya, Pallavi Patel, Kamal Kumar Gautam, Brajesh Prajapati and now Salim Shervani — the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh is facing a full-blown revolt in its ranks.

When Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the post of party general secretary last week, many believed that it was designed to quell dissidence within the party over Maurya’s anti-Hindu statements.

But, when former leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary wrote a letter to party President Akhilesh Yadav urging him not to accept Maurya’s resignation, it became clear that things were not right in the party ranks.

Immediately after, Apna Dal (K) leader Pallavi Patel, who is a legislator on SP symbol, declared that she would not vote for the SP candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls since ‘Jaya Bachchan and Alok Ranjan’ did not come in the PDA (Pichhda, Dalit, Alpsankhyak) category. She also sympathised with Swami Prasada Maurya.

Patel and her party leaders carrying the Apna Dal flag, joined Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra in Varanasi on Saturday.

After Pallavi, it was former minister Kamal Kumar Gautam who resigned from the post of secretary in SP’s state executive.

Joining hands with Maurya, Gautam claimed that he, too, was feeling sidelined in the party as he had not been given any responsibility for years now.

A founder-member of the BSP, Gautam hails from Azamgarh and had joined the SP in 2019.

Former MLA Brajesh Prajapati, who had quit the BJP to join the SP in January 2022 along with Swami Prasad Maurya, has also expressed his disillusionment with the SP leadership. He has announced his disassociation from all party activities.

The biggest blow, meanwhile, came on Sunday when former MP Salim Shervani held a press conference in Delhi and announced that he had tendered his resignation from the post of national general secretary of the Samajwadi Party.

He alleged that party President Akhilesh Yadav does not give any importance to the PDA (Pichhda, Dalit and Alpsankhyak) communities.

In his resignation letter, Shervani asked how the SP was different from the BJP and that the party’s candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections on February 27 did not have a Muslim name, as a result of which the community was feeling “ignored”.

Shervani wrote, “In the recent past, I have held discussions with you about the condition of Muslims, and I have tried to convey to you that the community is feeling ignored, and is losing confidence in the party. The gulf between the party and the community is increasing, and they are looking for a true ‘guide’. I have also tried to convey to you that their support should not be undermined.”

If sources are to be believed, some more leaders — majority of those who came in from BSP and BJP — are planning to go public with their resentment against the party leadership.

According to a senior SP leader who spoke to IANS on condition of anonymity, “The biggest problem is that the party leadership (read Akhilesh) refuses to communicate with the cadres. He avoids meeting leaders and does not take feedback on ground realities. Decisions are not taken collectively and neither are the seniors consulted.

“There has been trouble in the party since Swami Prasad Maurya began his campaign against ‘Sanatana Dharma’. Maurya is angry because the party distanced itself from his stand while the upper caste Hindus in the party are upset because Akhilesh did not take any visible action against Maurya. In trying to please both, Akhilesh has ended up displeasing both.”

Political analysts feel that after the snapping of SP-RLD alliance, Akhilesh Yadav is no longer in a commanding position in the INDIA bloc and this revolt within his party is further weakening his position.



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