BSP leader RS Kushwaha meets Akhilesh Yadav, triggers speculations of crossover



LUCKNOW: BSP National General Secretary R S Kushwaha met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday, triggering speculations of his shifting allegiance ahead of next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

However, the interaction at the Samajwadi Party office has been described by both sides as a “courtesy meeting”.

“Former (state) BSP president RS Kuswaha had a courtesy meeting with party president Akhilesh Yadav,” the Samajwadi Party tweeted with a picture of both the leaders.

When asked, Kushwaha told PTI it was a courtesy meeting.

“Yes, I met Akhileshji. It was a courtesy meeting,” he said without elaborate on the talks he had with the Samajwadi Party supremo.

Hailing from Lakhimpur, Kushwaha was the BSP’s Uttar Pradesh unit president when the Mahagathbandhan was forged between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in 2018.

He has been an MLA and MLC and had contested against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli constituency in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Last week, expelled BSP leaders Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar met Akhilesh Yadav leading to guesswork about their political future.

Yadav had described that as a courtesy call.

The meeting created a buzz that Verma and Rajbhar may contest the assembly polls on SP ticket.

Verma was the BSP Legislature Party leader and Rajbhar was a former president of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit.

They were expelled by Mayawati on June 3 on charges of anti-party activities during the panchayat elections.

Both the Samajwadi Party and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party have already announced they would fight the Assembly election separately.

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