Mayawati gives Mulayam yet another jolt (Lead)

Lucknow, April 17 (Inditop) Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati Friday gave yet another jolt to her archrival, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, as she wooed away his close confidante Banwari Lal Kanchal, a prominent leader of traders in the state.

Kanchal has quit the Samajwadi Party as well as his Rajya Sabha membership.

The announcement came at a specially convened press conference just before Mayawati’s departure for her hectic election campaign across the country.

“Today, Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Mandal president Banwari Lal Kanchal came to me and expressed his desire to join the BSP in the larger interest of the trader community whom he represents,” Mayawati told mediapersons.

“Kanchal was impressed by what my government has been doing for the betterment of traders.”

Kanchal joined the Samajwadi Party after leaving Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) several years ago.

Asked to explain his decision, Kanchal said: “Anything is possible in politics.”

When a scribe asked him about his possible next destination, Mayawati quickly intervened: “Please, do not misunderstand him. He is not playing politics by joining my party, which he sees as the true well-wisher of the trader community.”

Before Kanchal, prominent leaders who quit the Samajwadi Party include Beni Prasad Verma, Raj Babbar, Shafiqur Rehman Burq and Saleem Sherwani – all sitting MPs.