Wednesday, December 16, 2009

[ZESTCaste] BSP or Business Samaj Party? Kanshi Ram ‘friends’ want Maya out

BSP or Business Samaj Party? Kanshi Ram 'friends' want Maya out
Mandakini Gahlot Posted: Dec 16, 2009 at 0038 hrs

New Delhi In a dark, spacious room at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in
New Delhi, a ragtag team of a dozen-odd men passed a resolution on
Tuesday — to remove Mayawati as president of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
It is time to reclaim the party from her clutches, they said, a day
after the BSP expelled the party's general secretary Shahid Siddiqui
for speaking against the party chief.
These men, mostly well into their sixties, and all former BSP members,
have gathered under the loftily-named banner of the All India Leaders,
Functionaries and Activists. And all of them were very close to the
BSP's founding father Kanshi Ram, they claimed.

But do they have a plan of action? The resolution should do for now,
said Manohar Atey. "We have also written to the Election Commission."
Atey described himself as a founder general secretary of the BSP, and
also of the Backward and Minority Communities Employees' Federation
(BAMCEF) — a group founded by Kanshi Ram. While Newsline was unable to
establish the veracity of his claims, Election Commission records show
he contested an election in 1996 on a BSP ticket from Peddapalli in
Andhra Pradesh. He got 3,466 votes — 0.5 per cent of the vote bank.

The group held their 'all-India meeting' on Tuesday where invitees
were requested to bring 'five to ten enlightened individuals' to
participate in the debate. Former BSP member from Bengal, K K Roy
said: "Whenever Kanshi Ram came to the state, he would visit me and we
would together plan the BSP's future. Mayawati took advantage of
Kanshi Ram's illness and declared herself the president even though
Kanshi Ram had repeatedly said a central committee should be set up
after his death to elect the party president."

K S Minayya, who claims he was once the party's president in Andhra
Pradesh, exhorted the twenty-odd present to "join the revolution". "It
should no longer be called the Bahujan Samaj Party because she has
joined forces with Brahmins. It should be renamed the Business Samaj
Party, because having money has become the most important criteria for
membership," he said.

The discussion then veered towards reorganising the BSP's structure
after Mayawati's 'removal'. Atey suggested it have a politburo, along
the lines of the Left, so that 'no one person can have absolute

But Roy had a question — shouldn't this group first become a political
party? Suggestions about the name were bandied about: Bahujan Social
Welfare Party, People's Power Federation, Bahujan Samaj Sangh, Bahujan
Samaj Party (Kanshi Ram) — until Minayya wanted to know why they
should create a new party when the ultimate aim was to reorganise the
BSP after Mayawati's removal?

Roy disagreed, and after much deliberation, a committee was set up to
come up with a name. The group intends to reconvene once the Election
Commission responds to their plea for Mayawati's removal - they are
sure there will be a response.


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