BSP receives a jolt as veteran leader RK Chowdhary quits

Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was jolted yet again on Thursday when senior leader and national general secretary R.K. Chowdhary quit the party. Considered a key member of the team left behind by party founder Kanshi Ram, Chowdhary was a prominent Dalit face of the BSP. Accusing party chief Mayawati of "making the BSP her personal fiefdom", Chowdhary told the media here that money now ruled the roost in the party. Money lenders, property dealers and land mafia had found a footing in the BSP "which once championed the Dalit cause", he said. Chowdhary accused Mayawati of raising money for her own family. "She is raking moolah big time to give ticket (to candidates) and the party has become some kind of a real estate company now." Chowdhary claimed there would be a series of desertions from the BSP in the coming days -- ahead of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year. This is the second big jolt to the BSP after Swamy Prasad Maurya, who was leader of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, quit on June 22 making similar accusations. Chowdhary had quit the BSP in 2001 too but returned to its fold later.