Senior OBC leader Ambika Chaudhary quits giving another jolt to BSP, may join Samajwadi Party

LUCKNOW: In a fresh jolt to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), senior party leader and former Uttar Pradesh minister Ambika Chaudhary quit the party on Saturday. This came just a few hours after his son Anand Chaudhary switched-over to rival Samajwadi Party (SP) in native Ballia.

Though Chaudhary remained tight-lipped about his future plans, sources close to him said he is likely to return to the SP on Monday. After resigning from BSP, Chaudhary said, “I was feeling neglected in the BSP since 2019. Further, as my son has been nominated by the SP as its candidate in district panchayat chairperson poll, my loyalty to BSP could come under doubt.”

Among the founder members of SP, Chaudhary has long been considered very close to SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and has held key portfolios in the state government in the past. In 2017 after being expelled from the Akhilesh-led party owing to proximity to Shivpal Yadav, Chaudhary, a powerful OBC leader, had joined the BSP.

The BSP had subsequently fielded him from Ballia’s Phephena seat, but he lost from the seat for the second time in row to BJP’s Upendra Tiwari. BSP MLA from Ballia’s Rasra seat Umashankar Singh said Chaudhary and his son have “back-stabbed” the BSP for which both of them will have to pay politically.

According to BSP sources, this latest development is bound to sharpen the acrimony between the SP and BSP, who fought the 2019 general elections together. With Ambika Chaudhary hailing from Yadav caste, the latest devopment is an indicator of Yadavs polarising in favour of SP, which has inherently been a Yadav dominated political outfit.