Published On: Fri, Feb 23rd, 2018

Expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui joins Congress

New Delhi: Expelled Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui on Thursday joined Congress here in presence of senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Uttar Pradesh Congress President Raj Babbar.

The new entrants later also met Congress President Rahul Gandhi

He also merged his political outfit Rashtriya Bahaman Morcha into the party.

Siddiqui, one time the closest confidante of Mayawati, joined Congress along with BSP leaders OP Singh, Liyakat Ali, Achhe Lal Nishad, Arshad Khan, Begum Husna Siddiqui, Raghunath Prasad, Anil Awana, Vijendra Vyas and many others. About 100 former BSP leaders and workers also joined the party.

The new entrants later also met Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Azad, General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, told media persons that the entry of all these leaders shows “that situation on the ground is changing and the future of Congress is bright” as under Rahul Gandhi, people from other parties are willing to join it and work with him.

To a question whether this will hamper the prospects of ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in UP, Azad said: “I do not think so because ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is formed keeping in view totally different considerations at the state level or national level.

“If you remember, last year only, Congress in UP started a crusade against the then ruling state party, we had named it – ‘27 Saal Behaal’. But subsequently we realized that times we cannot fight so many forces, the regional forces and the national forces at one time. Samajawadi Party also felt the same way and with the mutual understanding, we forged an alliance.

“It’s another matter, whether we succeeded in our mission or not. That is secondary but our huge campaign against the state government and their campaign against us did not come in the way of forging an alliance because that was keeping in view number of other considerations at the national level,” he added.

Asked if Mayawati won’t get offended, Azad said: “Many of the leaders were expelled by her only, and 90 per cent of them had resigned after they were expelled. After all, they had to join some party. Before assembly elections, when they (BSP) made our MLAs defect to their party, we did not get offended. So, she should also not get offended.”

BSP supremo Mayawati had thrown out Siddiqui and his son Afzal from the party on May 10, after which Siddiqui had levelled serious charges against the four-time Chief Minister, even alleging that she had sought Rs 50 crore from him. He had also released some audio tapes of his telephonic conversations with her.

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