In a huge setback to Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav's aide Ambika Chaudhary today joined Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), saying he was saddened by the way the SP patriarch was treated by his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Chaudhary joined the BSP in the presence of party supremo Mayawati who gave him a party ticket from his traditional Phephna seat in Ballia which he had lost in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. He later became a member of the Legislative Council.
"I have taken him in the party and he will be given full respect in the BSP at all levels, much more than he was getting in the SP. The party will field him from his old seat in Ballia in the Assembly polls," Mayawati said.
Chaudhary said he has resigned from all posts in the Samajwadi Party. Referring to the infighting in Mulayam Singh Yadav's clan, he said, "It was not merely an internal matter of a particular party at the time of elections. This political party is in power and has the responsibility to check BJP from coming to power."
“The manner in which these developments came to an end... before the Election Commission on January 16 only proved that the intention of the tussle was something other than shielding the secular movement and the downtrodden. It is also important that anyone can support or oppose Mulayam Singh politically but the manner in which Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his people behaved with him .... and he was rejected, has been deplored in the whole country and I am also very sad because of it," he added.
Chaudhary, who had been a minister in the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, said that he had been in politics for 40 years and in the SP since 25 years.
He thanked Mayawati for giving him a chance "in the decisive" fight against the communal forces.
Chaudhary was a close aide of Mulayam Singh and his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and was not liked by Akhilesh. During the tussle in the SP, he was involved in negotiations with Shivpal for finding a solution.
Uttar Pradesh -- the country's most populous and politically significant state -- will go to elect its 403-member state assembly in seven phases: February 11 (73 seats), February 15 (67 seats), February 19 (69 seats), February 23 (53 seats), February 27 (52 seats), March 4 (49 seats) and March 8 (40 seats). Results will be declared on March 11.