UP election: Another jolt to BJP as MLA Mukesh Verma quits party
UP election updates: After resigning from the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Verma showed his support to Swami Prasad Maurya.
Uttar Pradesh lawmaker Mukesh Verma became the seventh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA to quit the party days ahead of the Assembly elections. After resigning from the primary membership of the BJP, Verma showed his support to Swami Prasad Maurya, a prominent backward caste leader who resigned from the state cabinet earlier this week.
"Swami Prasad Maurya is our leader. We will support whatever decision he takes. Many other leaders will join us in the coming days," Verma told reporters after arriving at Maurya's residence in Lucknow.
"I must say that all work of Baba Saheb Ambedkar is being undone. The BJP government is not looking at anyone's interest," he said.
Verma is a known loyalist of Swami Prasad Maurya.
Dara Singh Chauhan, minister for environment and forests in the UP government, MLAs Brajesh Prajapati, Roshan Lal Varma, Bhagwati Sagar, and Vinay Shakya have also left the party.
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On Wednesday, Maurya said that he will take a final call on his political future on January 14 while confirming his meeting with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, who has already welcomed him into the party fold. Chauhan also said that he will make a decision on his next step on Friday, indicating that the rebel BJP leaders were on the same page for the future course of action.
Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya publicly urged the quitting ministers to reconsider their decision, saying decisions made in haste often prove to be wrong. Swami Prasad Maurya told news agency ANI that he didn't receive calls from any politician to reconsider the decision, adding that the BJP "would not have to face this if they were cautious on time and worked on public issues."