Hours after Uttar Pradesh Labour and Employment Minister Swami Prasad Maurya quit his post, his daughter and the BJP’s Badaun MP Sanghamitra Maurya today claimed her father has not joined any party and will reveal his strategy in a couple of days. However, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photograph with Swami Prasad Maurya, who quit the Yogi Adityanath-led cabinet a few minutes after his meeting with Akhilesh Yadav to join the SP today.
Sanghamitra Maurya said that her father had definitely resigned but had not joined Samajwadi Party or any other party yet.
The resignation of Swami Prasad Maurya was followed by more exits from the BJP with three MLAs — Bhagwati Sagar from Bilhaur (Kanpur), Brajesh Prajapati, MLA from Tindwari assembly seat of Banda and Roshan Lal Verma, Tilhar Shahjahanpur — reportedly sending their resignation letters to the party. There were reports that some other legislators and BJP leaders were also in touch with the Samajwadi Party.
“Despite the adverse situation, I have worked with all responsibility and dedication as a minister of labour, employment in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet. But I am resigning from the Uttar Pradesh ministry in view of gross neglect towards Dalits, backward classes, farmers, unemployed youth and small-medium sized traders,” said Maurya in a letter addressed to the Uttar Pradesh governor.
UP Raj Bhawan confirmed receipt of the resignation letter from Maurya. Chief Minister Yogi is yet to react to Maurya’s exit.
“Ab pata chalega Swami Prasad Maurya kaun hai. Main jahan rahunga, wahan sarkar banegi. (Now it will be known to them who Swami Prasad Maurya is. The party I go to will form the government,” Maurya told reporters later.
On 22 June 2016, Swami Prasad Maurya had resigned from the BSP and as the then-leader of opposition in the state assembly, accusing the BSP of running a ‘money for ticket’ syndicate and joined the BJP. He was elected to state assembly from Padrauna seat of Kushinagar while his daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is BJP MP from Badaun. Both of them have remained unavailable for comments.
In a post on Twitter, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “Known for his fight for social justice and equality, Swami Prasad Maurya is welcome with greetings and honour, along with his workers and supporters. There will be a revolution on the social justice front. There will be a change in 2022.”
Reacting to the resignation of Swami Prasad Maurya, senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said: “I do not know the reasons why respected Swami Prasad Maurya ji has resigned. I appeal he should sit to talk. Any decisions taken in haste could prove wrong.”
“This must be a fall out of pressure tactics instead of ideological commitments. Maurya may be pressuring the BJP for distribution of tickets his way while the BJP may be having its own considerations. Leaders may not be satisfied over the distribution of tickets and so may leave their respective parties before polls,” said Professor SK Dwivedi, former head of department, political science, Lucknow University.
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. Akhilesh Yadav has shared his picture with Maurya on Twitter. Along with the post, he wrote, “Warm welcome and greetings to the popular leader Swami Prasad Maurya Ji, who fought for social justice and equality, and all the other leaders, workers and supporters who came with him to SP! There will be social justice revolution — there will be a change in 2022.”
The BJP’s Tindwari MLA Brajesh Prajapati, Tilhar MLA Roshan Lal Varma and Bilhaur MLA Bhagwati Sagar have also announced they are leaving the party in support of Maurya. However, there was no immediate word on the resignations being accepted.
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.