With assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh fast approaching, hectic political activity is underway in the state with a slew of leaders changing their political affiliations and associating themselves with parties they once opposed. On Wednesday, Rae Bareli Sadar MLA Aditi Singh dealt a major blow to Congress by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. A day later, Bahujan Samaj Party was at the receiving end of embarrassment when MLA Shah Alam deserted the party. He is yet to make up his mind with regard to which political party he wants to join.
Shah Alam was the leader of the BSP in the House and MLA from Mubarakpur in Azamgarh. There is speculation that Alam may join hands with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party. In his resignation letter to party supremo Mayawati, Alam said, ‘In my meeting with you on November 21, I felt that you are not satisfied despite my devotion and sincerity towards the party. Since 2012, I have been loyal to the party and have fulfilled every responsibility given by the party. But it seems that I am being neglected. So there is no reason to stay together any longer. I do not want to be a burden on the party if my leader is not satisfied with me or my work’.
Alam was one of the richest MLAs in the assembly. In fact, it is believed that he is also richer than Mayawati. Opposition parties often target Mayawati’s assets. During the last election, in the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, Mayawati declared that she had assets worth Rs 111 crore. Shah Alam, according to his affidavit, possesses more wealth than his now-former party chief and is the richest MLA in the current assembly. His total assets are worth more than Rs 118 crore. Alam had in 2014 contested unsuccessfully against Samajwadi Party fountainhead Mulayam Singh Yadav. It is a different story that he lost the election with a small margin.