2 years after the expulsion, ex-MLA Amarpal returns to BSP

GHAZIABAD: Former Sahibabad MLA Amarpal Sharma, who is out on bail in the murder case of a local BJP functionary in Ghaziabad, joined BSP on Saturday, nearly two years after he was thrown out from the party by its chief Mayawati. His return to the party comes on a crucial day when BSP and the SP entered into a pre-poll alliance in UP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Sharma was elected from Sahibabad assembly seat on a BSP ticket in 2012. The party had declared him as its candidate from Sahibabad in the assembly elections in 2017 too but showed him the door barely a few days later, accusing him of ‘indiscipline’ and ‘anti-party activities’. He, thereafter, joined the Congress and contested from Sahibabad itself on Congress ticket but lost to Sunil Sharma of the BJP by a margin of over 1.5 lakh votes.

Following his expulsion from BSP in January 2017, Sharma had accused BSP supremo Mayawati and party general secretary Naseem-ud-din Siddiqui of bribery in a press conference that he had held in Ghaziabad. He had alleged that the party had sought Rs 5 crore from him for retaining him as its candidate in the assembly polls of 2017. He had further alleged that he was ousted on 'frivolous charges' after he failed to pay up the amount which had been demanded in installments from him given the cash crunch owing to demonetization.

According to sources, Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency is likely to go to BSP in the seat-sharing formula that was announced in Lucknow on Saturday as part of the pre-poll alliance entered into by the two regional parties. Though the SP and the BSP have agreed to contest 38 seats each in the state, the names of the constituencies are yet to be formally announced.

Sharma had contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 on a BSP ticket from Ghaziabad but had lost to BJP’s Rajnath Singh. “The names of the seats that will be shared between the SP and the BSP are not clear yet and it would be speculative to consider that I have re-entered the party to contest from Ghaziabad. I had been with the BSP ever since I began my political career in 2006. The Congress did not stand beside me when I was victimized by the ruling BJP government after being falsely implicated for conspiring in a murder case,” Sharma told TOI.

Sharma was released on bail in August 2018, following nearly 10 months of incarceration as an undertrial prisoner, after a bench of the Allahabad high court quashed his detention under the National Security Act, 1980.He was accused of criminal conspiracy in the murder of local BJP functionary Gajendra Bhati in Khoda area in September 2017. He had subsequently surrendered in a court.

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