In a major blow to the Samajwadi Party, senior leader and MLC Ambika Chaudhary Ambika Chaudhary joined the rival BSP on Saturday in presence of Mayawati.
While addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Chaudhary cited infighting for his decision to part ways with the ruling party.
Chaudhary said he was saddened by the way the SP patriarch was treated by his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
"I have resigned from SP and all positions related to the party and have dedicated myself completely to BSP now," news agency ANI quoted Chaudhary as saying.
Chaudhary also accused the SP of putting aside the core issues related to the state.
Chaudhary, who joined the BSP in the presence of party chief Mayawati, has been promised a party ticket from his traditional Phephna seat in Ballia which he had lost in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. He later became a member of the Legislative Council.
"I have taken him in the party and he will be given full respect in the BSP at all levels, much more than he was getting in the SP. The party will field him from his old seat in Ballia in the assembly polls," Mayawati said.
Chaudhary said he has resigned from all posts in the Samajwadi Party.
Referring to the infighting in Mulayam Singh Yadav's clan, he said, "It was not merely an internal matter of a particular party at the time of elections. This political party is in power and has the responsibility to check BJP from coming to power." But, he said, "the manner in which these developments came to an end... before the Election Commission on January 16 only proved that the intention of the tussle was something other than shielding the secular movement and the downtrodden".
(With inputs from PTI)