RS Kushwaha meets Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow

BSP national general secretary RS Kushwaha calling on Samajwadi Party national chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Monday

LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national general secretary RS Kushwaha on Monday called on Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav at the party headquarters in Lucknow. The meeting, which was described as a “shishtatachar bhent” (courtesy call) may eventually end up in a major embarrassment for the BSP as sources did not rule out the possibility of him siding with the SP ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls.
Samajwadi Party, though parried questions related to the meeting, the party’s national secretary and chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said SP has emerged as the only alternative to the ruling BJP.
“Even BJP MLAs are in touch with the party leadership and many of them will formally join SP in the near future,” Chaudhary told TOI.
Talking to reporters, Kushwaha admitted to have met the SP chief describing the meeting as a “courtesy call” but refused to divulge anything more. Sources said Kushwaha had come in direct contact with Akhilesh during his stint as state president of BSP in 2018 when the two parties entered into an alliance ahead of Lok Sabha polls. He has been in touch with the SP leadership ever since.
A former MLA who has also been an MLC, Kushwaha hails from Lakhimpur and had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls against Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BSP fielded Kushwaha against BJP’s sitting MP Ravindra Kushwaha. Putting up a good fight, he finished second with 38%votes. Sitting MP Ravindra polled 50% of the votes polled.
The BSP national general secretary’s “shishtachar bhent” comes days after expelled BSP leaders Ramachal Rajbhar and Lalji Verma called on the SP national president describing it a “courtesy call”. Their meeting with Akhilesh was followed by reports that they were likely to join SP formally at a mega event probably in Ambedkarnagar in the second week of October.

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