Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led by Mayawati has suffered a setback as all six MLAs of Rajasthan have quit the party to join Congress on Monday. They have submitted a letter to the state assembly speaker to merge the legislative party with the Congress.
The six BSP MLAs namely, Rajendra Gudd (Udaipurwati), Jogendra Singh Awana (Nadbai), Wajib Ali, Lakhan Singh Meena (Karoli), Sandeep Yadav (Tijara) and Deepchand Kheria (Kishangarhbas) took Congress membership.
MLA Rajendra Gudd from Udaipurwati told ANI that they have taken this decision in order to fight against the communal forces and work for the development of the state. The MLA went on to add that they were extremely impressed by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot for his style of working.
Nadbai MLA Joginder Singh Awana said that BSP had extended its support to Congress in the assembly elections but had fought against them in the Lok Sabha making it difficult for the BSP MLAs.
“We have given our resignations letter and also met CP Joshi Ji and Ashok Ji today. There were several challenges in front of us. On one hand, we were supporting Congress for the development of the state and on the other, we were fighting against them in Parliamentary or upcoming Panchayat elections. We all gave a thought to it. We took a decision in favour of the state," he said and added that they would contest upcoming local bodies and panchayat elections under the Congress.
Congress had won 100 seats out of 200 in the assembly elections last year and was supported by Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) one MLA, BSP’s six MLAs, and 12 Independent MLAs. In March this year, the 12 independent MLAs joined Congress and now the addition of six ex-BSP MLAs taking the Congress tally to 118, while BJP has 73 seats.
In 2009, during Ashok Gehlot’s earlier tenure, all the six Bahujan Samaj Party legislators had also defected to Congress. That time, the government was five short of a clear majority.
(With ANI inputs)