Lucknow: The 17th Lok Sabha is barely eight months old and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has set a record of sorts by changing its leader in the House with an alarming frequency.
The BSP parliamentary party has now got its fourth leader in eight months. BSP president Mayawati has appointed Ritesh Pandey, MP from Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, as the new leader, replacing Danish Ali. The party has 10 members in the Lok Sabha.
Maluk Nagar, MP from Bijnor Lok Sabha seat, has been appointed deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha.
The BSP, in a statement, said that the leaders of the party in the Lok Sabha Danish Ali, MP form Amroha, and state party president Munkad Ali belonged to the same community and hence, the changes have been affected.
The BSP had initially appointed Danish Ali as the leader, but he was replaced by Shyam Singh Yadav, MP from Jaunpur, after he refused to support abrogation of Article 370 in August.
In November, she reinstated Danish Ali as the leader in the Lok Sabha, but two months later, he has again been replaced by Ritesh Pandey.
Political observers claim that the appointment of Ritesh Pandey, a Brahmin, as the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha is designed to woo the Brahmins ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, scheduled to be held in 2022.
Ritesh's father, Rakesh Pandey, a former BSP MP, enjoys considerable support among the Brahmin community in central and east Uttar Pradesh.
Brahmins, it is said, are upset with the BJP over the marginalising of the community in the state and the growing clout of Thakurs in the Yogi Aditynath regime.
The Samajwadi Party has also left no room for Thakurs after the exit of Amar Singh. The BSP wants to cash in on the situation and create a Dalit-Brahmin-Muslim equation for the Assembly polls.