Reports suggest that few more ministers and MLAs may soon follow Maurya to quit BJP.
NEW DELHI – In a surprise political development that is bound to deal a major blow to the BJP ahead of elections, a minister in the Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh along with three BJP MLAs quit the party and joined the Samajwadi party.
Coming as it does days after the Election Commissioner announced poll dates for assembly election in five states including UP the move is expected to set a trend in the ruling party in the coming days.
Swami Prasad Maurya, the minister in the Yogi cabinet who comes from OBC community, announced his move on Twitter and posted a copy of his resignation letter.
Just as he went public with his decision, three MLAs, Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati, followed suit with the announcement of their respective resignations.
The newsy development is seen as a big jolt to the ruling BJP and Adityanath as it comes at a time of raging election campaign with polls just a month away.
What’s more, there are indications from reports that a few more ministers and MLAs may soon follow Maurya to quit the BJP.
सामाजिक न्याय और समता-समानता की लड़ाई लड़ने वाले लोकप्रिय नेता श्री स्वामी प्रसाद मौर्या जी एवं उनके साथ आने वाले अन्य सभी नेताओं, कार्यकर्ताओं और समर्थकों का सपा में ससम्मान हार्दिक स्वागत एवं अभिनंदन!
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) January 11, 2022
“What impact my exit will have on the BJP will be obvious after the 2022 assembly election,” NDTV quoted him telling the media.
Shortly after Maurya announced his resignation, the jubilant Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter and posted a photo with Maurya as he welcomed him and his supporters in the party fold.
“I warmly welcome Swami Prasad Maurya, a leader who fights for social justice and equality, and all his supporters. There will be a revolution in social justice. Chang is coming in 2022,” Yadav wrote a tweet in Hindi.
Veteran leaders from the Congress are also leaving party and switching over to SP. Party’s face in the western UP, Imran Masood, is also set to join Akhilesh Yadav.
Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister and top BJP leader in the state, was quick to react to the decision of his colleague by an appeal for reconciliation. “I don’t know why Swami Prasad Maurya quit but I appeal to him, don’t quit but let us talk. Decisions taken in haste can backfire.”
The resignations come on a day when Yogi Adityanath was holding a meeting with top brass of the party in Delhi to discuss election strategy in the state.
Maurya had joined the BJP after leaving Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 2016 despite having been an MLA for multiple terms. He is representing Padrauna assembly segment in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His daughter Sanghamitra is currently a member of parliament from BJP. She is likely to stay in the party for the time being.
Some reports suggest that Maurya was upset with the BJP as his son Utkarash Maurya had not been “suitably adjusted”.
Voting in the state begins on February 10 which will be conducted in seven phases. March 10 is fixed for counting and announcement of the results.