Ahead of UP polls, these Yogi team mates resign from BJP to join Akhilesh Yadav’s squad


New Delhi: With the date of the assembly elections approaching, the game of political war is intensifying in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government faced several setbacks after several of its cabinet ministers turned their backs on joining Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s team.

The setback began on Tuesday (January 11) when Uttar Pradesh’s Labor, Employment, Coordination Minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the Uttar Pradesh cabinet. The strong OBC (Other Backward Class) leader seemed to be the ace of spades in the house of cards. After him, three BJP MLAs – Roshanlal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati Sagar left Yogi Adityanath’s team.

Maurya appears to have a strong affiliation and this became more evident when he left the BJP, with his cabinet friend Dara Singh Chouhan also resigning from Team Yogi.

The trend continued with BJP MLAs Mukesh Verma, Vinay Shakya, Bala Prasad Awasthi and Avtar Singh Bhadana resigning from the primary membership of the party.

Read also: Former Yogi Adityanath squad members, Swami Prasad Maurya, Dharam Singh Saini join the team Akhilesh Yadav

On Thursday (January 13), the situation turned dire for the Uttar Pradesh BJP when another cabinet minister Dharam Singh Saini “finally” resigned from the party.

Just a day before leaving the BJP, Saini, another prominent OBC leader, rubbished reports of his resignation from the BJP. Notably, Saini also criticized Swami Prasad Maurya for leaving the party.

An interesting similarity is that all these BJP leaders are leaving the party back-to-back and gradually joining the Samajwadi Party, minutes after they quit, Akhilesh Yadav shared a picture with the latest defector and welcomed him in SP.

Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini were members of the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). These two, along with several other leaders, boarded the BJP boat in 2016.

It is worth noting that Akhilesh Yadav is making every effort to win the non-Yadav OBC leaders of BJP before the state assembly elections.

Here is a list of politicians from Uttar Pradesh who have decided to distance themselves from the BJP ahead of the assembly elections:

Name cabinet post held constituency
Swami Prasad Maurya Minister of Labor, Employment and Coordination padrauna
Dara Singh Chauhan Minister of Forest, Environment and Animal Husbandry Madhubani
Dharam Singh Saini ayush minister nakuro
Roshanlal Verma oilseeds
Brijesh Prajapati Tindwari
Bhagwati Sagar Bilhauri
Mukesh Verma Firozabad – Western Uttar Pradesh
Vinay Shakya Bidhuna
Bala Prasad Awasthi Dharauhara
Avtar Singh Bhadana Meerapur
Radha Krishna Sharma bilsey

Voting for the 403-seat assembly of Uttar Pradesh is to be held next month. Polling will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. Counting of votes and declaration of results will take place on March 10.

First Published:January 15, 2022, 7:55 am

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