ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mayawati’s Financial Tangles and the Cost to Dalit Politics

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati seems to be focused on settling scores with her former confidantes-turned-foes. Meanwhile, attacks on Dalits are intensifying and the newly-formed Bhim Sena seems to be a greater attraction for Dalit youth in the state.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati looked and sounded defensive, indeed helpless, when she made a rare appearance before journalists at her garrisoned Lucknow home on 11 May. A few days before the press conference, she had expelled one of her closest political associates, Naseemuddin Siddiqui from the BSP, on grounds that he had failed to deliver the Muslim votes he was mandated to in the recent assembly polls and had swindled BSP candidates of huge sums of money on promises of making them members and securing tickets. Siddiqui was one of the fewloyalists she was left with after she threw out several local leaders over the last two years or so. Mayawati called him a “taping blackmailer” because shortlyafter his expulsion, he had played audio tapes of the conversations he had with her over alleged financial deals.

Unusually, at the press conference she did not say her piece from a written text. Her nearly hour-long monologue was a rant against Siddiqui, who as the national general secretary was the BSP’s most important functionary in the party after Mayawati. She warned she would not leave her former aide in peace until he made good the “money” he had “decamped” with from the Dalits and minorities. Siddiqui hit back at Mayawati, calling her a “blackmailer.”

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Updated On : 29th May, 2017
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