New Delhi: BJP Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who quit Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet on Tuesday, said it was time to “make and break” the government in Uttar Pradesh. Asserting himself to be a “king maker” in the state, Maurya, who joined BJP in 2016, said, “I played a key role in bringing BJP into power in 2017. I resigned from BSP and it became an orphan and when I joined BJP it touched the sky.”
Speaking to India Ahead, Maurya, a prominent OBC leader in the state, said, “I am a king maker.”
However, he did not make his position on the report of joining Samajwadi Party on Tuesday even as he thanked Akhilesh Yadav who welcomed him to the party. “I will make my position clear on February 14. I thank Akhilesh for welcoming me in the party.
WATCH: Swami Prasad Maurya speaks to India Ahead
Following Maurya’s announcement of resigning from the party, BJP leader and UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya appealed to the former to think over his decision. “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 a tweet in Hindi.
Responding to his former colleague, SP Maurya said, “I am thankful to Keshav Prasad Maurya for reaching out but that chapter is closed.”
BJP Tindwari MLA Brajesh Prajapati, Tilhar MLA Roshan Lal Varma and Bilhaur MLA Bhagwati Sagar have announced they are leaving the party in support of Maurya. There was no immediate word on the resignations being accepted.
Meanwhile, BJP has deployed leader Swatantra Dev Singh and Sunil Bansal to reconcile with rebel party leaders.
The SP tweeted a photograph of Swami Prasad Maurya and Varma with party chief Akhilesh Yadav, and said in Hindi, “Welcome to the Samajwadi Party. There will be a social justice revolution. There will be a change in 2022.”
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 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 Yogi ministry of Uttar Pradesh,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Maurya, who hails from the other backward class (OBC) 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.
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.
(With PTI Inputs)