UP Minister quits, joins Samajwadi ahead of assembly pollstext_fields
Lucknow: Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, a powerful OBC leader and BJP MLA for multiple terms has quit the Uttar Pradesh cabinet to join Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) shortly before assembly elections are due to take place in the state. News of his joining the SP emerged even before his letter of resignation became public.
Maurya, who was formerly in Mayawati's BSP before he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2016, stated in his letter that he was disillusioned with the Yogi Adityanath government in UP. His previous position was as the Minister of Labour in the Yogi Adityanath government.
"Despite a divergent ideology, I worked with dedication in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. But because of the grave oppression of Dalits, OBCs, farmers, unemployed and small businessmen, I am resigning," Swami Prasad Maurya wrote.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav warmly welcomed Maurya to the party on Twitter, hailing his work in the public sector and asserting that his joining the party would bring manifest change to Uttar Pradesh.
"Warm welcome and greetings to the popular leader Shri Swami Prasad Maurya ji who fought for social justice and equality and all the other leaders, workers and supporters who came with him in SP! There will be revolution for social justice," Yadav tweeted.
Uttar Pradesh is set to see a seven-phased Assembly election between February 10 and March 7. The result of the keenly watched polls will be declared with that of four other poll-bound states on March 10. Election rallying and political sloganeering have been building up in the state as a tussle between the Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party is on the cards.
The Congress has also seen a major loss in its cadre as party national secretary Imran Masood quit to join the SP, stating that while he found recognition and work in te Congress, there was no other alternative to stopping the BJP.
An opinion poll conducted by ABP-CVoter has put the BJP in the lead with a predicted 41.5% of seats while the BSP is projected to get 33.3%. the Congress and BSP remain underdogs in the race for power in UP.
The Times Now-VETO opinion poll also predicted the return of the ruling BJP to power. According to the opinion poll, Yogi Adityanath is the most popular choice as chief minister with 53.4% supporting him while 31.5% of people want Akhilesh Yadav as the CM