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Mayawati Sacks Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Calls Emergency Meeting of top BSP Leaders

Suhas Munshi | News18.com

Updated: May 10, 2017, 12:21 PM IST
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Mayawati Sacks Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Calls Emergency Meeting of top BSP Leaders
File photo of BSP chief Mayawati. (Credit: PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Soon after Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Muslim face of Bahujan Samaj Party, was expelled for “anti-party activities” on Wednesday morning, the party leadership went into a huddle.

According to sources, around 250 senior leaders of the party, from various parts of Uttar Pradesh and other states, were called by party supremo Mayawati for an emergency meeting at her residence in Lucknow.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mayawati’s trusted aide Satish Mishra announced Siddiqui’s sacking from the party in a press conference held in Lucknow.

According to sources, BSP leaders, who have been called for the meeting at Mayawati’s residence, were not allowed to take cellphones inside.

Siddiqui joined the party in 1988, four years after it was founded by Mayawati’s mentor Kanshi Ram. Siddiqui was made a Cabinet minister in 1995 after the party, led by Mayawati, came to power in UP for the first time. Since then, he was always seen as part of Mayawati’s inner circle.

In the press conference, Mishra said Siddiqui had been sacked from the party for two reasons — poor performance of the party in the areas under him and him making illegal deals with private individuals in the name of the party. “In all the areas that were given to Siddiqui — West UP, Lucknow region and Uttarakhand — the party performed very poorly. Following this, demands were made by a lot of our people to sack him. But after he was removed from UP, we got to know from a lot of responsible leaders that he had amassed a lot of wealth in West UP in the form of benami properties and slaughterhouses,” he said.

Mishra added that the party leadership also got to know that Siddiqui had cut deals with a lot of rich individuals privately, and had sought favours from them, promising to return them as soon as BSP formed government in UP.

“He had apparently told these people that he was going to get a lot of important portfolios and would hence repay their financial favours. But when our party did not form government, there was pressure on him to repay. He then started selling his benami properties and began a false propaganda that he was doing so because of orders from the party leadership. We called him several times but he never turned up or answered our calls,” said Mishra.

Mishra added that even after Siddiqui was given the charge of Bundelkhand region in Madhya Pradesh, he continued to stick to West UP, cutting more deals, which is when the party decided to sack him. The party also sacked his son, Afzal Siddiqui, who was the young Muslim face of the party in this year’s assembly polls.

A senior BSP official said Siddiqui’s sacking had nothing to do with his alleged interactions with some BJP leaders.

“No, it’s not because he was getting close to any other party. With the sort of track record he has, there is no chance for him in BJP. And till the time Azam Khan is in SP, he has no chance there as well. And Siddiqui had better chances in BSP than he may have in Congress. So no, it was not because he was getting close to any other party, but it was to do with ticket distribution and him making money out of it in the party’s name,” said the BSP leader on request of anonymity.

Despite repeated attempts, Siddiqui could not be reached for a comment.

First Published: May 10, 2017, 11:03 AM IST
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