Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress for being an untrustworthy party after all six of her MLAs in Rajasthan joined the Congress. She said the Congress had cheated and betrayed the BSP even when it had been extending unconditional outside support to its government in the state.
On Monday night, the six MLAs wrote to Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi, asking to merge the legislative party with Congress, PTI reported. The anti-defection law under the Tenth Schedule does not apply when more than two-thirds of a party’s strength defy the whip, so all six will remain MLAs.
The development raised the strength of the Congress to 106 in the 200-member Assembly. The government now has the support of 119 MLAs, including that of a Rashtriya Lok Dal MLA and 12 Independent MLAs.
The BSP had decided to support the Congress in the Assembly when it was one short of the majority mark of 101 after the Assembly elections last year.
“The BSP MLAs met me and handed their letter about this,” Joshi said. The six BSP MLAs were Rajendra Singh Gudha, Jogendra Singh Awana, Wajib Ali, Lakhan Singh Meena, Sandeep Yadav and Deepchand Kheria.
“We took a decision in order to fight against communal forces and to work for the development of the state and stability of the government,” Gudha told ANI. “Ashok [Gehlot] is the best chief minister and no one can be better than him for Rajasthan. I was impressed with his style of working and polity.”
Awana said it is was difficult for the MLAs to support Congress from outside. “We have given our resignation letter and also met CP Joshi and Ashok today,” he said. “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 elections. We all gave a thought to it. We took a decision in favour of the state.”
In a series of tweets, Mayawati said: “Instead of fighting its rivals, everywhere, Congress always hurts those parties who support it. This way, Congress is an anti-SC, anti-ST, anti-OBC party and has never been serious and honest about reservations for these communities.”
She added that the Congress had always been against BR Ambedkar’s principles, pointint out that he had to resign as the country’s first law minister. “Neither did Congress ever let him get elected to the Lok Sabha, nor did they honour him with the Bharat Ratna,” she added. “Very sad and shameful.”
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