Three expelled Congress MLAs on Wednesday joined BSP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due early next year.
An SP MLA and a BJP leader too joined Mayawati’s party, BSP General Secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui told a press conference.
The MLAs are Nawab Qazim Ali Khan, Muslim Khan and Dil Nawaz Khan (all expelled from Congress) and Nawazish Alam Khan (SP).
BJP leader and former minister Awadhesh Verma also joined BSP, giving the party a boost after some senior leaders, including Swami Prasad Maurya and R K Chaudhary, quit accusing Mayawati of auctioning party tickets for the 2017 assembly polls.
Maurya, who was Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, has joined BJP. He belongs to OBC while Chaudhary is a Dalit, communities which are considered a significant votebank of BSP.
The leaders who joined BSP expressed confidence in the party’s policies and programmes. Asked whether BSP will give them tickets for the upcoming elections to the 403-member Assembly, Siddiqui said it would be decided later.
On Maurya’s claim that several BSP MLAs were in touch with him, he dared him to disclose the names.
UP PCC Vice-President Satyadeo Tripathy downplayed today’s development, saying it would not harm the prospects of Congress in any way as the party had already expelled them for indulging in anti-party activities.
Congress is trying hard to regain its lost moorings in the state which was once its favourite hunting ground.