Lucknow: Just before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, RLD leader Anuradha Choudhry on Sunday joined the Samajwadi Party. Rajya Sabha RLD MP Shahid Siddiqui along with MLA Vimlesh Singh also joined the SP.
The trio joined the party in presence of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, state president
Akhilesh Yadav, leader of opposition Shivpal Singh Yadav and senior leader Mohammad Azam Khan.
Anuradha Choudhry, a former minister was the general secretary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal and was considered close to the party chief Ajit Singh.
Anuradha came down heavily on RLD chief for entering into an alliance with Congress, accusing him of going against the ideology of his father Chowdhury Charan Singh, who
always fought against the party.
"Instead of entering in an alliance with Congress for getting ministerial berth, Ajit Singh should have fought for passage of land acquisition bill. His father has always fought
in the interest of farmers against Congress," Chowdhury said.
"The RLD workers and leaders did not like the alliance. RLD will have to suffer due to this alliance (with Congress," Chowdhury said, adding that she would not contest elections but only campaign for SP.
Asked about the issue of reservation to Muslims, party leader Azam Khan said that Muslims were cheated in the name of reservation, which had been given to eight castes and the
community would get on 0.8 per cent reservation, "which is meager".
"Congress always cheated Muslims. Be it shilanyas in Ayodhya or demolition of Babri mosque, Congress always acted against the Muslim community," he said.
Asked whether SP would provide separate reservation to Muslims if voted to power, Khan said that it could only promise that reservation percentage would be better that in
Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
"We cannot promise about how much per cent reservation
will be given to Muslims, but it will be better than that in
AP and Kerala," he said.
About removal of officers in UP by EC, Khan said that
the party would also complaint against Cabinet Secretary and
press for his removal.
Welcoming the leaders into party fold, Mulayam said their
presence would strengthen the SP.
Bollywood actor Vishwajeet Pradhan and leaders of Rastriya
Ulema Council also joined SP on the occasion.
This is one of the many inter-party hopping that is taking place in the politically volatile state of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the crucial Assembly elections.
Few days back, BSP discard Babu Singh Kushwaha, a prominent backward leader had joined the BJP creating a major divide in the party.
Meanwhile reacting to the current events Ajit Singh said, “These things happen during election time.” RLD has joined hands with the Congress party to fight the UP polls.
With PTI inputs