BJP leader Maneka Gandhi has taken on BSP chief Mayawati by calling her a "saudagar (merchant) of tickets".
Gandhi who is contesting from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh has alleged that the former UP chief minister demands money in exchange for giving tickets. She also accused the BSP supremo of not being loyal to anyone.
"...Mayawati does not spare her own partymen then how will she spare the country and the state. She can't do without (currency) notes. She does not give her party's tickets to anyone without taking money. Mayawati is a saudagar (merchant) of tickets.
"Mayawati does not give tickets for free to anyone. Everyone knows this. She has a price on each and every ticket, which is Rs 15 crore. I have not seen Rs 15 crore in my life. I run five orphanage, hospital and many other things," she said.
In 2016, two BSP MLAs accused the party leadership of demanding "huge sums" for allotting tickets for the 2017 UP Assembly polls, prompting the party to suspend them hours after they levelled the allegation. The lawmakers -- Palia MLA Romi Sahni and Mallawan MLA Brijesh Verma -- later joined the BJP.
Recently, Nishad party which was in coalition with Mayawati's BSP and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and AjJit Jogi's RLD in Uttar Pradesh broke away from the alliance.
Citing his reasons for breaking away from the alliance, Nishad said that he wanted the Gorakhpur and Maharajganj seats on which he was given assurance by the SP chief, Akhilesh Yadav.
"But later, I was offered one seat and was asked to contest on the SP's symbol, for which I am not ready. I wanted to contest on my own party symbol 'Bhojan Bhari Thali' (plate with food). Akhilesh is working under pressure from (BSP supremo) Mayawati and betrayed me. So, I had to take the decision," he said
(With PTI inuts)