The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BSP graft axe on leader

Jaipur, July 4: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayavati has sacked Shivdan Meghwal, the president of her party’s Rajasthan unit, after discovering that he had been convicted of corruption while holding a government job.

She has appointed party general secretary Bhojraj Solanki in Meghwal’s place.

BSP sources said the decision was in accordance with the party’s attempt to reorganise the state unit ahead of the Assembly elections.

A court had sentenced Meghwal to three years’ imprisonment on corruption charges when he was a junior engineer in the Lunkaransar Panchayat Samiti in Bikaner district. Meghwal had filed an appeal against the sentence in the Bikaner sessions court.

The BSP leadership came to know of this when the court summoned him.

Shambhu Dayal, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Rajasthan, informed Mayavati over the phone on Wednesday. She ordered Meghwal’s dismissal after he confessed.

Meghwal was appointed state party chief following the exit of BSP legislator Jagat Singh Dayma. Dayma, who recently died of cancer, had been expelled from the BSP for indulging in anti-party activities. He was accused of hobnobbing with the Congress.

Dayal said Meghwal had not only concealed the fact about his trial while taking over as state president in July last year, but had lied, saying he had resigned from his job to devote all his time to the party.

Dayal himself had recommended Mehgwal’s name to Mayavati as he belonged to the Scheduled Caste Meghwal community, which has a sizeable population in the state.

Another party MLA, Mohammed Mahir Azad, has recently joined the Congress. During the last Assembly elections, the party had won only two seats — Dayma and Azad were the winning candidates.

The BSP has announced that it will contest all the 200 Assembly seats in the state, hoping to emerge as a balancing force.

The party has also declared that it has no intention of having any truck with the BJP in the elections.

The next executive meeting of the BSP’s Rajasthan unit will be held in Lucknow in the presence of Mayavati, party sources said. She will also address a rally here in August.

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