Even as murmuring has started in the BJP over why the party brass did not take action against tainted lawmaker from Bhawantnagar Kuldeep Singh Sengar, state BJP chief president Swatantra Deo Singh clarified that he was suspended from the party a year back and there was no change in the status.
“Opposition parties are not aware of the fact that disciplinary action was taken against Sengar last year. He was issued a notice by the disciplinary committee and was later suspended from the party,” Singh said.
“We did not issue any press release then, but I am officially stating this now that you have asked me,” he asserted.
Despite the clarification, resentment is brewing among party cadres as to why the BJP brass is not taking action against Sengar, who has been an embarrassment for the party since Yogi came to power in March 2017.
“Sengar does not belong to the BJP. He is an import from Samajwadi Party, who joined the BJP on the insistence of Yogi before 2017 Assembly poll. If we can take action against our state vice-president Daya Shankar Singh, an in-bred BJP leader, for speaking ill against Mayawati, what is preventing us from showing the door to Sengar,” a BJP leader asked.
Daya Shankar Singh was suspended for six years in 2016 for using derogatory words against Mayawati but was taken back in 2017.
“When the party brass took no time in expelling lawmaker Pranav Champion of Uttarakhand for brandishing guns and chastised another MLA and the son of a senior leader of MP for beating up officials with a cricket bat, why no action is being taken against Sengar,” he said.
Sources said that the BJP leadership was reluctant to act against Sengar because of the political influence he wields in Unnao. Sengar has been an MLA since 2002 and his integrity is not confined to any particular party as he has been a member of BSP, SP and BJP. He first won Assembly elections from Sadar segment in Unnao as a BSP candidate. He then joined the SP and won two subsequent polls in 2007 and 2012 from Bangarmau and Bhagwantnagar segments – both in Unnao. In 2017, Sengar joined the BJP and successfully contested from Bhagwantnagar.
Sengar’s political influence apparently forced senior BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj to visit him in jail before Lok Sabha elections, which had raised quite a few eyebrows. The meeting worked as Sakshi Maharaj won from Unnao comfortably despite rumours that he might be dropped for non-performance.
“Crime and politics is a heady cocktail. Criminals who venture into politics build a ‘Robinhood’ kind of image among poor voters. Their network is based on terror & money and spreads very fast. In a short time, they become a political identity of a region. This might be the case of Sengar and the BJP is reluctant to act against him fearing a caste backlash,” said Nomita P Kumar of Giri Institute of Development Studies in Lucknow.
On Sunday, a speeding truck collided with a car in which the Unnao rape survivor was travelling along with her lawyer, aunt and aunt’s sister in Rae Bareli. In the accident, her aunt and aunt’s sister were killed while the rape victim and lawyer were critically injured and are on life support at Lucknow’s King George’s Medical University hospital.