Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 15 (ANI): A group of rebel Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs on Tuesday met with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav here triggering speculation that they may join hands with the party ahead of the next year's assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
Suspended BSP MLA Aslam Raini, who was among those who called on the SP leader, said he along with the 10 other MLAs who have been shown the door by the BSP and were thinking about floating their own independent party.
"The number of MLAs against which BSP has taken action is 11 right now. If we get one more MLA, we will form our own party. Our leader will be Lalji Verma and he will decide the name and other details of the party," Raini told ANI.
Verma was the leader of the BSP in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly before Mayawati expelled him along with MLA Ram Achal Rajbhar earlier this month.
Raini said he did not have complaints against BSP supremo Mayawati but with the party's general secretary Satish Mishra who, he alleged, had misbehaved with Verma and Rajbhar.
On meeting with Akhilesh Yadav, Raini said that the MLAs were all praise for the SP leader but said that a decision of them joining the Samajwadi Party, as was being speculated, will ultimately be decided by Lalji Verma.
"Lalji Verma will be our party's leader and whatever he decides, we will do accordingly. If he asks us to jump into a well then we will jump into the well," Raini said.
The 11 rebel MLAs against whom action has been taken by the BSP include Aslam Raini (Bhinga-Shravasti), Aslam Ali Choudhary (Dholana-Hapur), Mujtaba Siddiqui (Pratappur-Allahabad), Hakim Lal Bind (Handiya-Prayagraj), Hargovind Bhargava (Sidhauli-Sitapur), Sushma Patel (Mungra Badshahpur), Vandana Singh- (Sagdi-Azamgarh), Lalji Verma (Katehari), Ramchal Rajbhar (Akbarpur), Ramveer Upadhyay (Sadabad) and Anil Singh (Unnao).
BSP has been seeing defections and most of its leaders who have switched sides have gone to the Samajwadi Party. BSP had won 19 out of 403 seats in the 2017 assembly elections. Both BSP and SP had fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls together but their relationship ruptured after the polls. (ANI)