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3-min read

From BSP's Muslim Face To Mr No One: Naseemuddin Siddiqui's Fall From Grace

BJP elevated Swati Singh as the head of its women wing in UP and she is now a junior minister in the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet. This incident had also led to the alienation of upper castes from the BSP. Mayawati during the election campaign repeatedly referred to the ‘Dayashankar Singh Kaand’ to salvage the situation.

Virendranath Bhatt |

Updated:May 10, 2017, 8:02 PM IST
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From BSP's Muslim Face To Mr No One: Naseemuddin Siddiqui's Fall From Grace
File photo of expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui. (PTI photo)

Lucknow: Expulsion of Naseemuddin Siddiqui from the Bahujan Samaj Party was on the cards as Mayawati on April 21 had stripped him of all the organisational posts in Uttar Pradesh unit of the party.

Siddiqui, the national general secretary of the BSP, was appointed in charge of the Madhya Pradesh unit of the party. He had, however, refused to accept the new responsibility and not visited MP even once after the reshuffle in the organisation.

Siddiqui is said to have begged before Mayawati for restoring his status in the party. Mayawati, much to his chagrin, asked him to work along with the six other coordinators of the party in Lucknow division — who are the greenhorns of the BSP.

Besides the charges of extortion from the people and ticket seekers and running the illegal slaughterhouses in West UP, he had fallen from the grace after the fiasco of the agitation against BJP leader Dayashankar Singh. Moreover, like Azam Khan of the Samajwadi Party, Siddiqui was never indispensable for the BSP. In fact, no leader except Mayawati is indispensable for the party.

With the expulsion from the party, Siddiqui is also likely to be removed from the post of the leader of opposition in the Upper House of the UP legislative council. His term as member of the council ends on January 30, 2021. Siddiqui’s wife Husna Siddiqui was also a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) from the BSP and retired on January 15, 2016.

Siddiqui, a native of Banda district in Bundelkhand region, is likely to hold a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday. He had enjoyed number two position in two previous BSP regimes headed by Mayawati in 2002 and later from 2007 to 2012, and had the most lucrative departments like public works department, irrigation, housing, sugarcane and excise under him.

Siddiqui’s fall began in July last year when he organised a protest demonstration in Lucknow against BJP leader Dayashankar Singh, who had made derogatory remarks on BSP chief Mayawati, accusing her of extorting money for giving party tickets. Along with other BSP leaders, Siddiqui had made highly provocative and unparliamentary comments against BJP leader’s wife Swati Singh and his teenage daughter. The BJP was quick to seize the opportunity and turned the table on the BSP by launching counter campaign “Swati Ke Samaan mein, BJP Maidan mein”.

This had snatched away a successful campaign issue from the BSP. Akhilesh Yadav, the then chief minister, who had ordered an FIR against the Dayashankar Singh under Prevention of atrocities (SC/ST) Act, was forced to recommend a police case against Siddiqui and other BSP leaders under POCSO Act.

BJP elevated Swati Singh as the head of its women wing in UP and she is now a junior minister in the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet. This incident had also led to the alienation of upper castes from the BSP. Mayawati during the election campaign repeatedly referred to the ‘Dayashankar Singh Kaand’ to salvage the situation.

The expulsion from the party and the subsequent loss of the political status as leader of opposition in the legislative council could spell trouble for Siddiqui.

The Adityanath government has already ordered a CBI probe into privatization of 21 public sector sugar mills during the BSP regime in 2007-12. The then Lokayukta Justice (retd) NK Mehrotra in May 2013 had recommended criminal proceedings under prevention of corruption law.

He had also recommended to the UP government to either refer the matter to the CBI or constitute a special task force that should investigate the charges within a specific time frame. The Ombudsman had also recommended to the state government to constitute a special court with the consent of the Allahabad High Court for the speedy trial of the indicted persons.

(The author is a Lucknow-based journalist)

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| Edited by: Nakshab Khan
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