Bahujan Samaj Party workers in Rajasthan on Tuesday garlanded two party leaders with shoes, blackened their faces, and paraded them outside the party office in Jaipur’s Banipark area on donkeys, The Indian Express reported.
The workers blamed the two for corruption in ticket distribution during last year’s state elections. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, however, alleged the Congress was behind the attack.
Ramji Gautam, a national coordinator for the party, and the Bahujan Samaj Party’s former Rajasthan unit chief Sitaram faced the ire of the suspected party workers for allegedly giving election tickets to candidates who had defected from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress in exchange for money.
“Our workers are upset with the leaders,” an unidentified Bahujan Samaj Party worker told PTI. “The workers have worked on the ground for five years but they have given ticket to parachute candidates, who are of the BJP and the Congress, in lieu of money. BSP workers and leaders are being ignored and exploited.”
He said despite three protests, local party leaders had failed to take the matter up with Mayawati. “Therefore, we had to take this step,” the unidentified party worker added.
However, Mayawati accused the Congress of horse-trading, and alleged that it was organising attacks on Bahujan Samaj Party leaders. “Congress party first broke the BSP MLAs in Rajasthan and is now attacking senior leaders to hurt our movement in the state,” she tweeted. “It is condemnable and very shameful. Congress is putting across a very wrong legacy against the Ambedkarite movement, and people can give a tit-for-tat reply against that. Therefore, Congress should not indulge in such shameful acts.”
In September, six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs joined the Congress, months after the Congress won 100 of the 200 seats in the December Assembly elections. Ashok Gehlot had formed the government with the support of the six Bahujan Samaj Party legislators and 12 Independents, who also later joined the ruling party.
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