The BSP won 19 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections, but months ahead of the 2022 elections, only three members can turn up for the party in the Assembly — Uma Shankar Singh (Rasara), Azad Ali Mardan (Lalganj) and Shyam Sunder Sharma (Manth).
Over the past two years, party president Mayawati has suspended or expelled a majority of her MLAs for anti-party activities, with Chillupar MLA Vinay Shankar Tiwari being the latest. While some sources in the party say Chillupar was expelled for demanding three tickets for his family members in the upcoming elections, others say it is an open secret that Tiwari was in contact with the Samajwadi Party (SP).
While sources in the party said they are worried about the timing of the disciplinary action — just when the BSP needed all hands on the deck to counter a strong BJP and a resurgent SP — officially, the BSP maintains that the action is part of Mayawati’s no-compromise stand on indiscipline and that it won’t hurt the party.
BSP spokesperson M H Khan said, “Action against MLAs and other leaders was taken because of their indiscipline. Behan ji (Mayawati) does not tolerate anti-party activities. It was Mayawati ji who turned them into leaders of stature otherwise they have no personal strength and following. Hence, their expulsion or decision to quit the BSP is not going to affect our prospects in the upcoming elections.”