UP elections: BJP gets jolt as labour minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigns, claims Dalits and OBCs 'being neglected'
Amid speculations of him joining the Samajwadi Party, Swami Prasad Maurya said that he has only resigned as a minister, and will announce his decision on 14 January
Ahead of the Assembly elections, Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh received a jolt after state labour minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from his post.
In his resignation letter, Maurya listed “negligent attitude towards Dalits, backward, farmers, unemployed youth, small and medium businessmen” as reasons behind his decision.
Speculations of Maurya joining the Samajwadi Party were doing the rounds, since his resignation from BJP was perfectly timed with a 'welcome' post by Akhilesh Yadav on Twitter.
However, Maurya said that he has not joined SP (yet). "I have only resigned as minister. Will announce my decision on 14 January."
Maurya had joined BJP in 2016 after quitting Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. He represented the Padrauna constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
"Despite a divergent ideology, I worked with dedication in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. But because of the grave oppression of Dalits, OBCs, farmers, unemployed and small businessmen, I am resigning," Swami Prasad Maurya wrote in his resignation letter.
"I discharged my responsibilities as the minister for labour, employment, coordination in the council of ministers headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, despite adverse ('vipreet') circumstances and ideology," the letter continued. His daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is a BJP MP and represents Badaun in Lok Sabha.
Welcoming the powerful OBC class leader, Akhilesh, earlier in the day, had tweeted, "Warm welcome and greetings to the popular leader Swami Prasad Maurya ji and other leaders, workers in the party who fought for social justice and equality! There will be a revolution for social justice, there will be change."
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! सामाजिक न्याय का इंक़लाब होगा ~ बाइस में बदलाव होगा#बाइसमेंबाइसिकलpic.twitter.com/BPvSK3GEDQ — Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) January 11, 2022
Akhilesh further tweeted:
इस बार सभी शोषितों, वंचितों, उत्पीड़ितों, उपेक्षितों का ‘मेल’ होगा और भाजपा की बाँटने व अपमान करनेवाली राजनीति के ख़िलाफ़ सपा की सबको सम्मान देनेवाली राजनीति का इंक़लाब होगा। बाइस में सबके मेल मिलाप से सकारात्मक राजनीति का ‘मेला होबे’! भाजपा की ऐतिहासिक हार होगी!#भाजपा_ख़त्म — Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) January 11, 2022
Uttar Pradesh's deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya appealed to Swami Prasad to sit down and discuss the issues and grievances that he has with the government.
"Swami Prasad Maurya ji has resigned for what reasons, I appeal to him to sit and talk. Generally decision taken on haste are not always correct" he said.
आदरणीय स्वामी प्रसाद मौर्य जी ने किन कारणों से इस्तीफा दिया है मैं नहीं जानता हूँ उनसे अपील है कि बैठकर बात करें जल्दबाजी में लिये हुये फैसले अक्सर गलत साबित होते हैं
— Keshav Prasad Maurya (@kpmaurya1) January 11, 2022
Sanghamitra also claimed that her father has not joined any party and will reveal his strategy in a couple of days.
Sanghamitra told PTI that her father has definitely resigned but has not joined Samajwadi Party or any other outfit yet.
Asked about Akhilesh Yadav's Twitter post welcoming Swami Prasad Maurya to the Samajwadi Party fold, she said even in 2016 when her father had left the BSP, Shivpal Yadav had posted a photo with him which also went viral on social media.
She said her father has told the media that he will decide his strategy after two days.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Roshan Lal Verma, who had come to Raj Bhawan to submit Maurya's letter of resignation, has decided to quit BJP as well. Two other BJP MLAs of Uttar Pradesh, Bhagwati Prasad Sagar and Brajesh Prajapati, have also submitted their resignations.
Roshan Lal Verma alleged that they were being ignored. He said, "Suresh Khanna was doing things at will. We were being ignored all the time."
Verma said that he had spoken to the chief minister and other senior leaders but nothing was done.
Also on Tuesday, home minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended a key BJP meeting as the party shortlisted its probable candidates for the initial phases of the state Assembly polls before its Central Election Committee meeting to finalise the names.
Official sources said the party's campaign, especially in view of the Election Commission's decision to ban rallies and roadshows due to surging COVID cases till 15 January, also came up for discussion besides various other aspects of its strategy.
With the filing of nomination for the first phase of the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh polls set to begin from 14 January, the party's CEC is likely to meet later this week to finalise the names of candidates, the sources said.
Polls will be held in 58 seats in the first phase on 10 February and in 55 in the second phase on 14 February, and the BJP is likely to announce the names of most of its candidates for these constituencies soon.
With inputs from PTI
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