Not happy with the party’s Rajya Sabha nominations, Samajwadi Party leader and former MP Saleem Shervani has resigned from the post of party’s national general secretary.

A five-time MP and an ex-Union minister, Shervani in a letter to SP president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday alleged neglect of the Muslims by the party.

“I have frequently discussed the situation of Muslim community with you and tried to convey that the community is feeling neglected along with losing their faith in the party,” Shervani wrote.

“I have repeatedly requested a Rajya Sabha seat for the Muslim community, according to the party’s tradition. Although my name was not considered, there was not a single Muslim among the candidates declared by the party,” he said.

The former minister accused the party of being hypocritical about its support for the backward classes.

“In the manner you distributed tickets for the Rajya Sabha polls shows that you yourself do not give importance to the PDA (Pichda, Dalit and Alpsankhyak). This raises the question of how you are different from the BJP,” Shervani said.”There is a growing distance between them and the party, and they are in search of a ‘true’ leader. The party should not take their support for granted. Sentiment among Muslims is increasing that no one in the secular alliance is willing to address their legitimate concerns,” he added.The SP has fielded Ramji Lal Suman, Jaya Bachchan, and ex-UP chief secretary Alok Ranjan for the Rajya Sabha election from UP. Shervani also hit out at the party for not doing enough for the Opposition alliance, saying it’s more of a fractious grouping than a consolidated front against the BJP.

“Endeavour to form a strong opposition alliance is proving to be futile. It appears that the Opposition is more interested in fighting among each other rather than fighting the wrong policies of the ruling party,” he said.

The resignation is another blow to the Samajwadi Party just before the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Last week, the National general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya quit it saying his statements were being “disowned” by the party.

SP MLA and Apna Dal (Kamerwadi) leader Pallavi Patel announced that she would abstain from voting in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Shervani had rejoined the Samajwadi Party in 2020, leaving the Congress. He is the fourth SP leader since Tuesday to either have tendered his resignation from his post or raised a voice of rebellion.

Dalit leader Kamla Kant Gautam also resigned as SP state secretary Friday last week, calling it “an inconsequential post with no responsibility or accountability.”

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