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Mayawati suspends 7 rebel MLAs; says may vote for BJP to defeat SP

New Delhi: BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday suspended seven of her party's MLAs, who had opposed the nomination of its official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha, for anti-party activities.

Amid speculation that the MLAs could switch sides in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati also said to ensure the defeat of Samajwadi Party candidates in future MLC elections, her party will even vote for BJP or any other party's nominee.

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said as soon as the rebel MLAs join any party, the BSP would take action against them under the anti-defection law. She also said the party organisation has been informed that the suspended legislators should not be invited to any BSP function.

Those suspended are Chaudhary Aslam Ali, Hakim Lal Bind, Mohammad Mujtaba Siddiqui, Aslam Raini, Sushma Patel, Hargovind Bhargava and Bandana Singh, according to a party statement.

She said the suspended lawmakers would not be fielded by the BSP in any future election.

People from the castes and religion of the suspended MLAs would be fielded against them. BSP would continue to nurture people from the castes, communities and religions the suspended MLAs represented, Mayawati said.

"Their communities would not be punished for their deeds."

Mayawati said her party would leave no stone unturned to defeat SP candidates in the future even if it meant voting for candidates of the BJP or any other party.

Any candidate who dominates over the Samajwadi Party's second candidate will get BSP MLAs' vote, she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, those who were suspended said they have no plans to join any other party.

"It is the prerogative of the party president to take whatever action she feels is right but we are not joining any other party," Aslam Raini, one of the rebels, said.

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