The announcement, which comes just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, was made here by the party's zonal coordinator Vijay Pratap who claimed that the couple “failed to pay heed to repeated warnings about abiding by the party discipline”.
   
However, the couple claimed that the action was taken “at the behest of Keshri Devi Patel", a former Zila Panchayat Chairperson, who is the BSP's likely candidate from Allahabad Lok Sabha constituency”.
   
“Patel has been systematically conspiring against all those whom she considered a threat to herself. She has been responsible for the sacking of many dedicated party workers. Now we are at the receiving end," the Guptas said adding that they “still have great respect for party chief Mayawati who appears to have been misled by her colleagues”.
   
Nandi, a businessman-turned-politician, had joined the BSP barely a few months ahead of the 2007 assembly polls in the state, wherein the predominantly Dalit-based party was seen building a broader social coalition, which included upper castes, especially the Brahmins and the Vaishya community.
     
The party went on to win an absolute majority in the polls which also saw Nandi pulling off a sensational victory in Allahabad (South) against heavyweights like BJP's Keshri Nath Tripathi and Rita Bahuguna Joshi of the Congress.
   
He was rewarded with a cabinet berth by Chief Minister Mayawati, causing dissatisfaction among those who were ignored despite a long association with the party.

(Agencies)

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