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‘Mayawati sought Rs 5cr for Lok Sabha ticket’

LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Friday expelled former MLC Mukul Upadhyay, brother of BSP MLA from Sadabad assembly constituency of Hathras, for involvement in ‘anti-party’ activities.

Reacting to his expulsion, Mukul accused Mayawati of demanding Rs 5 crore from him for a ticket to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Aligarh. Mukul alleged that when he refused to give money, his brother Ramveer said that his wife Seema would contest from the seat.

Ramveer is considered to be BSP’s Brahmin face in the politically crucial west UP.

Mukul had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Ghaziabad and 2017 UP assembly polls from Shikarpur, Bulandshahr, on BSP ticket and had lost to BJP candidates. He had also contested 2007 assembly elections from Iglas, Aligarh.

BSP’s district coordinator, Aligarh, Ranvir Kashyap, said, “There were complaints about Mukul’s involvement in anti-party activities.”

Party sources claimed that Mukul had been hobnobbing with BJP leaders and had reportedly made a public appearance at a BJP event, which prompted BSP chief to expel him. Party sources said that Mukul became an MLC due to Ramveer’s proximity to Mayawati. Ramveer had served as energy minister in Mayawati’s cabinet.

“He was keen to contest 2019 elections from Aligarh but Ramveer wants his wife Seema to contest from the seat. Realising that he may not be able to get ticket, Mukul had been in touch with BJP,” said a senior party member.

Seema had been elected an MP from Fatehpur Sikri in 2009, but lost to BJP’s Babu Lal in 2014.

Addressing the media on Friday night, Mukul also accused his brother and sister in-law of conspiring against him.
“Mayawati had agreed to let me contest 2019 elections from Aligarh but later I was asked to pay Rs 5 crore for the ticket. When I said I don’t have the money, my brother started screaming at me and said that he would pay the amount and his wife would contest. They have been jealous of my political growth,” he said.
Kashyap said that Mukul was lying and the party did not make any such demand.
Political analysts said that the decision to expel Mukul could hamper Mayawati’s social engineering which had once catapulted her to power with an absolute majority in the state.