Mayawati suspends 7 rebel MLAs; says BSP will vote for BJP to ensure SP defeat

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NEW DELHI: BSP leader Mayawati on Thursday suspended seven of her party’s rebel MLAs who had opposed the nomination of its official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha.

Amid speculation that the MLAs could switch sides in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati also said that to ensure defeat of Samajwadi Party candidates in future MLC elections, her party will vote for BJP or any other party’s candidate.

The former UP chief minister said as soon as the rebel MLAs join any party, the BSP would take action against them under the anti-defection law.

She said the party organisation has been informed that the suspended legislators should not be invited to any party function.

Mayawati said that her party will leave no stone unturned to defeat SP candidates in the future even if it means voting for candidates of BJP or any other party.

Any candidate who dominates over SP’s second candidate will get BSP MLAs’ vote, she said in a statement.

In a jolt to the BSP on Wednesday, six party MLAs reportedly met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and later threw hints that they may switch sides.

Four of the group of rebels also filed an affidavit, saying their signatures on the party candidate Gautam’s nomination for the Rajya Sabha polls had been “forged”.

The move turned out to be futile with the Returning Officer still accepting Gautam’s nomination as the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate for the November 9 biennial elections for the 10 Uttar Pradesh seats that are falling vacant.

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