Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Thursday, Aug 21, 2008
Mayawati scotches speculation on successor
LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has scotched
speculation on the name of her heir apparent, when she appointed Alok
Kumar Verma national vice-president of the Bahujan Samaj Party. He was
a virtual non-entity till now.
The Chief Minister’s decision was made known in a press release sent
by a BSP spokesman late Tuesday night. He rubbished reports in a
section of the press that the other vice-president, Raja Ram, is indeed
Ms. Mayawati’s heir apparent.
Ms. Mayawati had on August 9 announced that her successor would be a
Dalit, 18 - 20 years younger than her and belonging to the Chamar
sub-caste. She said he was being groomed for the top party job. The
Chief Minister said the name was contained in a sealed envelope, kept
in the safe custody of two of her closest aides, and would be disclosed
at the appropriate time.
Mr. Raja Ram, an MLC from Azamgarh district and coming from the
Chamar sub-caste, fitted the bill. This apparently led to speculation
on his being the possible successor .
The former Samajwadi Party MPs, Shahid Siddiqui and S.P. Singh
Baghel, were made national general secretaries of the BSP. Ram Shankar
Pal was appointed State general secretary.
The spokesman said that keeping in view the coming Lok Sabha
elections and the elections to five State Assemblies, a detailed
discussion was held, at the BSP’s national executive meeting here on
August 10, on extending the party’s mass base to sarv samaj.
Ms. Mayawati, who presided, issued directives for increasing the
party’s support base with emphasis on replicating the U.P. model of
“social engineering” in other States.