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Former BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya formally joins BJP, to be made star campaigner in UP elections

India TV Politics Desk New Delhi 08 Aug 2016, 14:45:25 PM IST
India TV Politics Desk

In a big boost to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year, former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya today joined the saffron party in presence of its chief Amit Shah. 

Maurya is expected to be made a star campaigner in upcoming assembly elections, scheduled next year. 

Maurya, an MLA from Padrauna,  was once a close confidant of BSP supremo Mayawati. The former leader of opposition in UP Assembly had quit the BSP in June alleging corrupt practices by Mayawati in ticket distribution for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state. 

After he quit the BSP, Maurya was tipped to join the Samajwadi Party but his comments against Akhilesh Yadav government strained his relationship with the party leadership.  

Maurya’s entry into BJP could help the party in securing a hold on the Kushwaha-Maurya community of western UP, one of the largest OBC groups in the state. Keeping this strategy in mind, BJP had earlier appointed Phulpur MP Keshav Prasad Maurya its state president. 

The development is likely to escalate the tension between BJP and BSP in the backdrop of BJP’s state unit’s vice president Dayashankar Singh’s derogatory remarks against Mayawati.

In the last two months, Mayawati has seen several key leaders quitting the party levelling serious allegations against her.

Last month, former party MLA Ravindra Nath Tripathi and RK Chowdhary had announced their resignation from the party, accusing Mayawati of digressing from the path of Dalit ideology.