UP Minister Swami Prasad Maurya quits BJP
Lucknow, January 11, 2022
In a major jolt to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections, Cabinet Minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from office on Tuesday.
His daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is a BJP MP from Badaun.
Sources said that Swami Prasad Maurya was likely to join Samajwadi Party.
In his resignation letter, he said that he was upset at the sidelining of Dalits and weaker sections of society.
He had been upset because his son Utkarsh Maurya had not been "suitably accommodated" in the Yogi Adityanath government.
Swami Prasad Maurya, once one of the senior-most leaders in the Bahujan Samaj Party, had joined the BJP just before the 2017 Assembly elections. He won the Padrauna seat on a BJP ticket in 2017 and was made Labour Minister.
Sources close to Maurya said that Sanghmitra Maurya would remain in BJP "for the time being".
Maurya's resignation and his likely joining the Samajwadi Party is a major jolt for the BJP since he remains popular in his community.
The resignation has brought cheer to the opposition camps, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand, where many BJP legislators have resigned to join the opposition.
Reacting to the developments, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said in Mumbai that he is working towards a joint opposition in Goa, and more MLAs will join the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. He said: "The people of Uttar Pradesh are looking for a change and they will ensure change in the state."
Since these developments, the Opposition has got a major boost as the Congress is the principal opposition party in Uttarakhand and Goa. In the hill state, the party has already poached a few MLAs.
The Samajwadi Party which was feeling the heat after the BJP took early leads in the campaigning has also got some boost in the form of Swami Prasad Maurya who is considered to have influence in the eastern and central Uttar Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh after Maurya and Roshan Lal Varma, another BJP MLA -- Brijesh Prajapati from Tindwari in Banda -- has said that he has submitted his resignation from the saffron party.
Verma, Prajapati and a host of other OBC MLAs met Maurya to discuss the political situation.
The MLAs, including Bhagwati Sharan Sagar from Bilhaur, said that the Yogi Adityanath government is not safeguarding the interests of the farmers, OBCs and other weaker sections of the society.
"We will go wherever Swami Prasad Maurya goes. We came with him from BSP to BJP and our future journey will continue with him," said the legislators.
The resignation in Uttar Pradesh followed days after Michael Lobo, a inister in the BJP-led government in Goa, resigned from his post and another MLA Pravin Zantye, also quit the party.
"The party I had joined on the word and assurance of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is not the same party today," Zantye told reporters after resigning from the party.
Zantye said that he would be joining the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party soon.
Earlier on Monday, Lobo had said that he was quitting as Minister and from the BJP, accusing party leaders of sidelining the grassroots workers.
Yashpal Arya and his MLA son had also joined the Congress after leaving the BJP.