Senior Dalit leader Dr Udit Raj , who has now joined the Congress, said: "The BSP has never taken to the streets to fight for the rights for Dalits and neither has the party raised its voice against the ruling party in Parliament. By supporting the scrapping of Article 370, the BSP has proved that its interests are limited to Mayawati and her family."
BSP's national coordinator and Mayawati's nephew Akash Anand hit back saying: "You were in the BJP for several years and left the party only when ticket was denied to you. Selfish Udit Raj."
Akash Anand clarified that his party's support to the BJP's resolution was a case of 'India first'. "We supported the government on issues of national interest and our decision is also in the interests of Dalits because they will now be entitled to the benefits of reservation in Jammu and Kashmir," he explained.
BSP President Mayawati too defended her decision saying that segregation of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir was the fulfilment of a long-standing demand of Buddhists.
"The followers of Dr Ambedkar who are Buddhists, are happy at the decision and we support them," she said.
Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, however, see the BSP's support to the BJP' decision on the matter as a "visible change" of political posturing.
"We all support the scrapping of Article 370 but the BSP has, once again, shown its vulnerability to political pressure. The party could have simply abstained on the issue but it chose to remain by the BJP's side. The party has permanently lost its Muslim support," said Ghulam Baksh, a BSP worker in Muzaffarnagar.
Rehmat Ali Khan, another BSP supporter from Gorakhpur, said: "The BSP could not go with the BJP after elections but now it has finally shown its loyalty. We have been deceived once again."
( With inputs from IANS )