New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from BJP and joined the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday. The move comes as a major setback to the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh ahead of high-stakes assembly elections. The OBC leader put an end to the speculations, which were going on for the last several days, that he may leave the BJP and ride on Akhilesh Yadav’s cycle.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav welcomed Maurya saying, “Warm welcome and greetings to the popular leader Shri Swami Prasad Maurya ji who fought for social justice and equality and all the other leaders, workers and supporters who came with him in SP! There will be revolution of social justice, There will be change in ’22.”
Swami Prasad Maurya has said that his resignation has come because of the gross neglectful attitude of the UP government towards Dalits, backward classes, farmers and unemployed youth.
Maurya had joined the BJP in August 2016 as he said he was impressed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work to empower the weaker sections. Before leaving BSP he had lashed out at party chief Mayawati for turning her party into an “industrial house” and allegedly selling tickets.
Maurya is said to enjoy influence with a section of OBC voters belonging to Kushwaha, Maurya, Shakya and Saini communities.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won a landslide victory winning 312 Assembly seats. The party secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member Assembly.
Samajwadi Party bagged 47 seats, BSP won 19 while Congress could manage to win only seven seats.
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Election Commission on Saturday banned election rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 in the five poll-bound states. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said the poll authority will review the Covid-19 situation on January 15 and take a further call on allowing public rallies.
Out of these 5 poll-bound states, the BJP is in power in 4 states including Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Leaders from all the political parties are campaigning aggressively for months to register their win in the upcoming polls.
The Commission has also banned victory celebrations and only two persons will be allowed to accompany the candidate to collect the winning certificate.