In a big jolt to the BJP in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Labour minister in the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government, Swami Prasad Maurya on Tuesday resigned from the government in protest against alleged indifference of the party to the plight of Dalit, backward, farmers, small and medium scale traders and youth, among others.
The development came on a day when the top central leadership of the BJP was closeted at the party headquarters here to deliberate on the ensuing elections in Uttar Pradesh. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath were present in the meeting.
Political experts, who were thronged by various news channels for byte, were unanimous that Swamy Prasad’s resignation may as well throw a spanner in the BJP’s gameplan in electorally crucial Western Uttar Pradesh, Purvanchal, and Bundelkhand regions of the state. It might impact the BJP’s fortunes in about 13 to 17 seats in the State, they said.
The BJP has particularly set up specific region-wise party leaders committees to address the specific electoral purpose of those areas. The party swung into action soon after to undertake a damage control exercise.
Though speaking to the media, Swami Prasad Maurya admitted that he had submitted his resignation to the UP Governor, he said he had not yet resigned from the BJP and would take a decision in this regard after a discussion with his supporters and other like-minded leaders who he indicated may also follow suit and leave the BJP with him.
Earlier, amid speculations that Swamy Prasad Maurya was likely to join the Samajwadi Party, the SP chief and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a picture of him with Swamy Prasad Maurya. However, it is learned that BJP leadership was aware of Prasad’s change of mind and his changing political inclination.
During his interaction with media in the state, Maurya neither refused nor confirmed that he had joined the SP. He said he had resigned from the Yogi government. He said he did not want to point a finger at any individual.
When reporters asked if had any differences of opinion with the chief minister and whether this was the reason for his decision to step down, he said had served the state with the best of his abilities and got everyone’s affection including the top leadership of the BJP such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, president JP Nadda, Amit Shah and others.
Asked if would relent if the party high command speaks to him, he said he had never said that he would not talk to anyone.
Interestingly, Swamy Prasad Marya said in the wake of political developments centering his decision to resign from the Yogi government, there would be no change in the existing position of his daughter Sanghmitra Maurya who is currently the BJP Lok Sabha MP from Badaun in UP.
Earlier, BJP MLA from Shahjahanpur who had come to deliver Swami Prasad Maurya’s resignation letter to the Governor said he may also follow suit along with other legislators and party supporters loyal to Swami Prasad Maurya.