The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced on Tuesday the expulsion of its senior leader and former MLA, Imran Masood, over allegations of anti-party activities and indiscipline. Masood, a prominent figure for the BSP in western Uttar Pradesh, had been a well-recognized face within the party.
A statement issued by the BSP and reported by the news agency PTI revealed that Masood had been cautioned on multiple occasions against engaging in “anti-party activities and indiscipline.”
However, he apparently disregarded the party’s warnings and directives, leading to his expulsion.
The decision of the BSP leadership to take action against Masood followed his recent public praise of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
In a media interaction on Sunday, as reported by Hindustan Times, Masood had remarked, “It was good to have worked with Rahul Gandhi. He can understand the problems of even ordinary party workers.” This comment fueled speculation of Masood’s potential return to the Congress party.
Reacting to his dismissal, Masood expressed surprise at learning about it through the media. He contested the reasoning behind his expulsion, stating that if it was indeed due to his admiration for Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, then it was a trivial justification. He emphasized his commitment to praising “good people” and clarified that he had never spoken ill of the Gandhi siblings.
Masood’s political journey has been marked by shifts between various parties. Last year, he left the Congress before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election and joined the Samajwadi Party.
He subsequently joined the BSP in October 2022. In the wake of his expulsion, he announced his intention to confer with his associates to determine his next course of action.
Hailing from Saharanpur district, Masood holds influence as a Muslim figure. Significantly, he was absent from a recent meeting of BSP leaders and office-bearers convened by party chief Mayawati in Lucknow on August 23.
According to sources cited in an Indian Express report, he was not invited to the meeting due to his appreciation of Congress leaders.
The BSP’s official statement regarding Masood’s expulsion indicated that when he initially joined the party, it was made clear that he could receive a Lok Sabha ticket from Saharanpur only after an evaluation of his contributions.
The statement also highlighted an incident during local body elections, where Masood sought a mayoral ticket for a family member. He was informed that consideration for the Saharanpur Lok Sabha ticket depended on the mayoral election’s outcome, which ultimately ended in defeat.
Furthermore, the statement alleged that Masood had not made efforts to expand the BSP’s membership base.
Imran Masood is the nephew of former Union minister Raheed Masood. He secured a victory in the 2007 UP election as an MLA from the Muzaffarabad seat, which is now known as the Behat seat, in Saharanpur district.
In previous years, he contested the Lok Sabha elections on Congress tickets in both 2014 and 2019 from Saharanpur.