THE PARTY hoppers, who had joined the Samajwadi Party bandwagon at the time of installation of the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government three years ago, are now looking for greener pastures. The resignation of Minister of State for Trade Tax and Registration Sanjay Garg on ‘flimsy grounds’ is being seen in this context in party circles. Garg had come from the Janata Party to become a minister in the Yadav Government. The next two months could be crucial for relocation of party deserters.
There are many more fence-sitters in the ministry, who are waiting for an opportune time to desert the government. In this connection, an SP MLA from Orai is in contact with Jan Morcha Alliance leaders. Interestingly, Garg, while shooting off his resignation letter to the chief minister, accused the Saharanpur police of supporting the BJP in the local bodies’ election. However, sources said it was the prospect of losing ground in the Saharanpur assembly constituency, which forced Garg to act swiftly. Sources close to the minister said Garg was under pressure to distance himself from the government, as quickly as possible to ward off the anti-incumbency factor in the next assembly election.
The tone and tenor of some other ministers, like Harishankar Tiwari and Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, has already changed. While Tiwari has openly expressed his displeasure over “apman ka ghoot” (insult which he had swallowed) under the present dispensation, Qureshi has been carrying on a campaign against the government for not doing anything for the welfare of the minority community.
The emerging trend of desertion is likely to further crystallise after the ongoing local bodies’ election. The SP has also gathering information about the performance of MLAs, who had come from the BSP. The performance of the ruling party in the civic poll could also be a benchmark for assembly election.
With candidates of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) clashing with the SP in the civic election, bitterness has further aggravated between the two ruling allies. At several places, the RLD has extended support to non-SP candidates.