MP BSP splits; new outfit called Samanta Dal
BY SAJI THOMAS
ABALPUR: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the state has split again with the new outfit being named the Samanta Dal. This announcement was made at the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST). Other Backward Classes and Minority convention held at Manas Bhavan here on Thursday on the occasion of the 177th birth anniversary of Rani Awantibai Lodhi who was a Backward Class. The new party is expected to bring SC, ST, OBC and the minorities in the state under one umbrella and also at the national level.
Insiders in the Samanta Dal said the party would stand for the rights of the oppressed classes in society especially the backwards and the minorities. Sources said the new outfit has got the backing of 30 MLAs from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and hinted that the number will go up further.
However, these MLAs would not openly extend support to the Dal right now as they had been asked to remain where they are till a formal decision to this effect is taken. The alleged sidelining of BSP supremo Kanshi Ram by Mayawati and her supporters is said to be the reason behind the new formation.
The sources said that in a last ditch effort to avert the split, BSP state president Phool Singh Bariyah had held marathon discussions with dissident leaders Sukhlal Kushwah till Wednesday night at a rest house in Katanga. However, these came to nought.
They said the plan for the new party was first mooted at a meeting of the Kushwah community held nearly one year back in Delhi to bring the backwards under one umbrella. D.P. Yadav, MP and national president of the SC, ST, OBC and Minority convention is stated to be the kingpin who is likely to be elected the national president of the new party.
Former MP Sukhlal Kushwah has been elected president of the Samanta Dal in the state while Motilal Shastri, national president of the Kushwah community, has been nominated president for Uttar Pradesh, the sources added. But an official announcement to this effect is yet to be made.
Efforts are also underway for a joint front of the Janata Dal (U), Samajwadi Party and the Lok Shakti against the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party at the national level.
Meanwhile, with the floating of the Samanta Dal, the demand for a backwards chief minister in Madhya Pradesh gained momentum with speakers at the convention saying the backwards and minorities in the state had been exploited since Independence.