2 MLAs say quitting party
Lucknow, Jan 11 (PTI): In a jolt to the BJP in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, OBC leader Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the state cabinet while two other MLAs announced they are quitting the party.
Maurya, who is expected to join the Samajwadi Party (SP), said he resigning from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet “due to the attitude of gross neglect” towards dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders.
BJP Tindwari MLA Brajesh Prajapati and Tilhar MLA Roshan Lal Varma have announced they are leaving the party in support of Maurya.
There was no immediate word on the resignations being accepted.
On Twitter, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya urged the leader to reconsider his move.
“I don’t know for what reasons respected Swami Prasad Maurya has tendered his resignation. I appeal to him to sit down for a talk. Decisions taken in a hurry often prove wrong,” he said in Hindi.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has shared a photo of him with Swami Prasad Maurya on Twitter, and welcomed him into the SP fold.
In his resignation letter addressed to Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Maurya said, “I discharged my responsibilities as the minister for labour, employment, and coordination in the council of ministers headed by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, despite adverse (‘vipreet’) circumstances and ideology.”
“Due to the attitude of gross neglect towards dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small and medium-sized traders, I am resigning from the council of ministers of Yogi (Adityanath) of Uttar Pradesh,” he said in a tweet in Hindi and the letter, which he posted on the micro-blogging site
Maurya, who hails from the other backward class (OBS) community, had crossed over to the BJP from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) before the 2017 assembly polls.
He is a five-time MLA from Padrauna, while his daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is a BJP MP and represents Badaun in the Lok Sabha.
The setback to the ruling party came on a day when a key BJP meeting to discuss the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, now just a month away, was taking place in Delhi.
Union Home minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya attended the meeting, as the party begins shortlisting its candidates.
Speaking to reporters here, Swami Prasad Maurya said, “I am a political person and I will be talking to some political party or the other. With whom I will talk, it will be done after consulting supporters.”
The Uttar Pradesh polls will be held in seven phases – on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3 and 7. The results will be declared on March 10 along with the four other poll-bound states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
Swami Prasad Maurya’s departure from the BJP is likely to damage the party’s prospects in at least 20 seats spread across Kushinagar, Pratapgarh, Kanpur Dehat, Banda and Shahjahanpur.
Meanwhile, BJP Tilhar MLA Varma reached the Raj Bhavan here with the hard copy of Maurya’s resignation.
Speaking to PTI, Varma said, “I have resigned from the BJP, and I will be with Swami Prasad Maurya. When we used to raise the grievances of the people, we were not heard.”
“We had complained to the chief minister and also to (the state BJP chief) Swatantra Dev Singh. But nothing happened. I will be joining the SP in the next couple of days,” he said
BJP MLA from Tindwari Prajapati has also sent a letter regarding he leaving the party to the state party president.