Days after resigning from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , Swami Prasad Maurya, along with Dharm Singh Saini and other rebel BJP MLAs, officially joined the Samajwadi Party on Friday on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
The move by Maurya and other rebel MLAs has been seen as a setback for the ruling BJP, which enjoyed the support of OBCs in the 2017 UP assembly elections and 2019 general elections. The SP chief welcomed Maurya and others.
Giving a reply to Yogi Adityanath’s 80% vs 20% poll pitch, Swami Prasad Maurya said that now the fight has turned 85% vs 15% and the BJP will be left with less than 8% to 10% votes.
Speaking to the crowd on the occasion, Swami Prasad Maurya said, “Makar Sankranti is the day when there will be a historic end to the BJP. The big leaders of the BJP who never paid any heed to our demands are having sleepless nights now. BJP leaders are asking why we didn’t resign in the past five years, some are saying that I left the BJP because of my son. I want to tell them that the BJP has duped backwards, Dalits, minorities and youth of the country. The BJP formed the government by encashing the name of Keshav Prasad Maurya and Swami Prasad Maurya. There were talks about making any of us the CM, but they brought someone from Gorakhpur and duped Dalits and Backwards.”
“Today the upper caste people are enjoying, while backward caste and Dalits are struggling. They say the elections are 80% vs 20%, but I say now its 85% vs 15%, 85% hamara hai and 15% me bhi bantwara hai (85% is ours and there is division in 15% too). BJP leaders say they will win on the Hindu card, then why did they try to play with the reservation given to Dalits and backwards. Appointment letters were given to 19,000 general category people, when 69,000 appointments were okayed. I want to know if backwards and Dalits are not Hindu? If yes, then why did you give their reservation to others,” asked Maurya.
Further attacking the BJP, Swami Prasad Maurya said, “When I was in the cabinet, there was a proposal that the posts should be filled with general category applicants without advertisement as there were no applicants from Dalit and backwards communities. I strongly objected and the CM noted down my objection, but still he didn’t stop the proposal. Now they are giving government sector to the private sector to scrap reservation.When things will go to private hands there will be no reservation. Yogi Ji, I want to say that you are doing a sin while sitting on the CM’s chair. Are only upper caste people Hindus in your eyes? If only those 10% are Hindus in your view then your pack up is definite. Now, all the Backwards, Dalits and everyone is against you. There will be further division in those 8 to 10 % with you as there are many Samajwadis and Ambedkarwadis in that percentage.”
“I thought after spending 14 years in exile, the BJP would have learnt its lessons, but it seems that once again they will return to what they were before 2017. I want to tell BJP leaders that after today, there will be a tsunami in the state which will devastate the BJP. I joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav as he is young, educated and able, I will make crores of people stand behind him and will destroy the BJP. I also challenge that whomever I leave, they stand nowhere. Behen Ji (Mayawati) is a living example, till the time I was with her, she was the CM. I left her, today she can be seen nowhere,” said Maurya. He also claimed that had there been no MCC in place and there was no corona protocol, then lakhs of people would have come to attend today’s historic event.
Another former BJP minister who joined Samajwadi Party, Dharm Singh Saini said, “Today’s programme is being held in the party office because of the code of conduct, otherwise if there was no ban, there would have been more than 10 lakh people. We take oath on Makar Sankranti to save the constitution, and to save the oppressed Dalits from atrocities, we take a pledge that we will form a Samajwadi government on March 10. The humanity and respect that I got from Akhilesh ji was not found anywhere else because I have been both in the BSP and BJP. Will get you (Akhilesh Yadav) sworn in as Chief Minister in March and will get you sworn in as Prime Minister in 2024.”
Those who joined Samajwadi Party included Bhagwati Sagar, rebel MLA from Bilhaur Kanpur, Vinay Shakya, rebel MLA from Bidhuna Auraiya, Roshan Lal Verma, MLA from Tilhar Shahjahpur, Mukesh Verma, rebel MLA from Shikohabad, Brajesh Kumar Prajapati, MLA from Tindwari Banda, Chaudhary Amar Singh, MLA from Shohratgarh Apna Dal (S), Ali Yusuf, former MLA, former minister Ram Bharti, former MLA Neeraj Maurya, former MLC Meerut Harpal Saini, former MLA of Moradabad Balram Saini, former MLA of Mirzapur Rajendra Pratap Singh, former Minister of State Vidrohi Maurya, Chief Security Officer Padam Singh, former MLA Bansi Singh Pahadia; Amarnath Maurya Chairman, Cooperative Bank, RK Maurya, Social Activist, Balram Maurya, State Backward Classes Commission Member and Chaudhary Harpal Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union.
Earlier on Thursday, the slew of resignations in the Uttar Pradesh BJP spilled over with Shikohahabad MLA and Backward Caste leader Mukesh Verma resigning from the party’s primary membership weeks before Assembly elections. So far, 13 MLAs, including two ministers, have resigned from the BJP in the run-up to the February-March polls, a majority of them in the last 72 hours.
Speaking to reporters, Verma said he was following influential OBC leader and minister Swami Prasad Maurya out of the ruling party. “Swami Prasad Maurya is our leader. We will support whatever decision he takes. Many other leaders will join us in the coming days,” Verma had said.
Mukesh Verma represents Shikohahabad constituency which comes under Firozabad district in western Uttar Pradesh that goes to polls in the initial phases of the seven-phase polling in the state.
So far, Mukesh Verma, Avtar Singh Bhadana, Brijesh Kumar Prajapati, Roshan Lal Varma, Bhagwati Sagar, Vinay Shakya and Bala Prasad Awasthi have resigned after ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan walked out of the BJP. Four MLAs — Madhuri Verma, Digvijay Nath Chaubey, Radha Krishna Sharma and Rakesh Rathor – had quit the party earlier.