UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigns from cabinet, likely to join SP

Maurya’s resignation came amid indications that some other ministers/legislators and leaders from the BJP were also in touch with the Samajwadi Party
Former Uttar Pradesh minister Swami Prasad Maurya (L) joins Samajwadi Party in presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in Lucknow on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
Former Uttar Pradesh minister Swami Prasad Maurya (L) joins Samajwadi Party in presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in Lucknow on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
Updated on Jan 11, 2022 10:58 PM IST
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LUCKNOW UP’s labour minister, Swami Prasad Maurya, 68, resigned from the state cabinet on Tuesday, giving a severe jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections in the state.

Considered a strong OBC face, the five-term MLA was likely to join the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP). Maurya was a minister in the Mayawati-led government and leader of opposition earlier. His decision to jump ship to the SP may further strengthen Akhilesh Yadav’s party among the Dalits and the OBCs.

The resignation led to 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 resignations to the party.

Maurya’s resignation came amid indications that some other ministers/legislators and leaders from the BJP were also in touch with the Samajwadi Party.

“Despite 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 UP 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 UP governor.

The UP Raj Bhawan confirmed receipt of the resignation letter from Maurya. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath was yet to come out with any reaction on the resignation.

“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, where I remain, will form the government,” said Maurya speaking to media persons later.

On June 22, 2016, Maurya had resigned from the BSP and as leader of opposition in the state assembly, accusing the BSP of running ‘money for ticket’ syndicate and joined the BJP. His move of quitting the Yogi Adityanath ministry came a few minutes after he met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to join the SP on Tuesday.

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 welcomed the minister to his party. A picture of Maurya and Akhilesh Yadav was also posted. 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 Maurya’s resignation, senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said: “I do not know the reasons why respected Swami Prasad Mauryaji 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.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Umesh Raghuvanshi is a journalist with over three decade experience. He covers politics, finance, environment and social issues. He has covered all assembly and parliament elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1984.

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Friday, January 28, 2022