The pre-poll churning in Uttar Pradesh sees the BJP getting a jolt with six legislators resigning from the party and three ministers quitting to join Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav
Putting all speculations to rest, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will contest from his stronghold Gorakhpur which elected him to Lok Sabha for five straight terms till 2017.
The BJP fielded deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu constituency in Prayagraj while minister Shrikant Sharma will contest from Mathura. There was speculation earlier that Adityanath, who never contested Assembly elections before, could contest either from Ayodhya or Mathura. Notably, the BJP won the 2017 elections winning over 300 seats in 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly without announcing a chief ministerial face. Adityanath, who had played a crucial role in the BJP’s poll campaign, took over as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on March 26, 2017.
Adityanath had fought the general election for the first time in 1998 from Gorakhpur when he was 26 and became the youngest MP in the 12th Lok Sabha. He is the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple in the city. He took over this position in September 2014 after the death of his spiritual “father”, Mahant Avaidhnath.
The people of Gorakhpur have a strong connect with the sitting chief minister for his image as a priest and a politician. According to the sources in the BJP, Adityanath has been assigned the responsibility of the Gorakhpur (Urban) seat keeping all these things in consideration.
Elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
But Yogi Adityanath is facing a massive challenge from within the party.
In a shocking move, former Uttar Pradesh Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who resigned this week from the Yogi Adityanath government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Assembly polls, on Friday said that former state cabinet Minister Dara Singh Chauhan will join the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Sunday.
Dara Singh Chauhan had resigned as minister from the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday. Maurya said, “As per the strategy, Dara Singh Chauhan will join on January 16 and there will be joining every day. The program was inside the party office and all of us were following COVID protocols.”
The SP leader further said that we are planning to send BJP to exile, just like 14 years ago, before 2017. “On March 10, when election results will be announced, BJP will be cleared from UP and SP will form the government,” said Maurya.
After quitting as a minister, Dharam Singh Saini met Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. “I welcome him to the Samajwadi Party,” Yadav said.
The spate of resignations began with Swami Prasad Maurya quitting the cabinet. Maurya, a prominent leader from the OBC community, had joined the BJP from BSP. Dara Singh Chauhan had resigned as minister on Wednesday. Dharam Singh Saini became the third minister on Thursday. Samajwadi Party has stitched a coalition of smaller parties for the assembly polls and has emerged as the main rival of the ruling BJP in the state.
Along with the former Ministers, the sitting MLAs Bhagwati Sagar, Vinay Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma and Brajesh Kumar Prajapati have also joined SP. Apna Dal MLA Chaudhary Amar Singh, Former BSP MLA Neeraj Kushawaha Maurya, former BJP MLC Harpal Saini, former BSP MLA Balram Saini, former BJP MLA Rajendra Pratap Singh, former Minister of State Vidrohi Maurya, former Chief Security Officer Padam Singh and former Congress MLA Bansi Singh Pahadiya joined the party.
The spate of resignations began with Swami Prasad Maurya quitting the cabinet. Maurya, a prominent leader from the OBC community, had joined the BJP from BSP. Dara Singh Chauhan had resigned as minister on Wednesday. Dharam Singh Saini became the third minister on Thursday.
Samajwadi Party has stitched a coalition of smaller parties for the assembly polls and has emerged as the main rival of the ruling BJP in the state.
Earlier BJP MLAs Mukesh Verma, Vinay Shakya, Avtar Singh Bhadana, Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati Sagar resigned from the party.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and senior party leader Sanjay Raut on Friday slammed the Yogi Adityanath government and said that in the coming days, at least 10 ministers may resign from the Uttar Pradesh government. The pre-poll churning in Uttar Pradesh has seen the BJP getting a jolt with six MLAs resigning from the party and three ministers quitting amid signals that they will join Samajwadi Party. Dharam Singh Saini became the third minister on Thursday who has resigned from the Yogi Adiyanath government in the last four days.
Sanjay Raut, on Friday said, “This figure will keep on increasing. Look at the way people were working under pressure for five years. No work has happened in BJP’s rule. People of Uttar Pradesh are saying that event management does not mean running the government. Talking of 80:20 per cent political polarisation may work but state and country cannot develop.”
“Yesterday I met many unemployed people in the poll-bound state and they want change in Uttar Pradesh. When important ministers, OBC leaders are leaving, you can understand in which direction the wind is blowing,” Raut told ANI.
Many leaders, who left the party over the past few days, accused the BJP government of not bothering about the rights of minorities and backward classes. Senior Shiv Sena leader reacted sharply on the number of ministers quitting the Uttar Pradesh government. He said, “As per my knowledge, this is just the beginning. 10 more ministers may resign in the coming days.”
Raut reiterated that party will contest elections on 50-100 seats in Uttar Pradesh.
“I met Rakesh Tikait ji yesterday. It was not a political meeting. Uddhav Thackeray ji also spoke to him over the phone and told him that the fight for the cause of farmers is still very long and is not over yet. We will definitely fight assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh between 50 to 100 seats and we are preparing for it,” he further told ANI.
But Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday announced that he would not let any more Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs or ministers join the SP.
“Let me tell BJP that I will not take any BJP MLA, minister anymore. They can deny tickets (to their leaders) if they wish to,” said Yadav in a press conference here. The statement of the former Chief Minister came after many BJP MLAs and ministers including Swami Prasad Maurya, a prominent leader from the OBC community, quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sitting BJP MLAs Bhagwati Sagar, Vinay Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma and Brajesh Kumar Prajapati have also joined SP.
Samajwadi Party has stitched a coalition of smaller parties for the assembly polls and has emerged as the main rival to challenge the BJP in the state.
But Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad on Thursday slammed the ministers in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet who resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party weeks ahead of the Assembly polls in the state, and said that they had nothing to show for while they were going out to seek people’s support once again.
UP cabinet minister Dharam Singh Saini resigned from his post on Thursday. The BJP had suffered the jolt of resignation by two of its sitting ministers in the state: Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan along with some MLAs. Nishad said, “When the Election commission issues the Model Code of Conduct, there is no minister or MLA. It is their responsibility to be amongst the public and win the election once again. They did not say anything for five years, the BJP was not bad then. Now when you have to go to the public and seek their support, then you are accusing the party. That means you have nothing to show for.”
Asked about the first list of candidates released by Congress in the state consisting of 40 per cent women, the Nishad Party chief said that the BJP alliance does not have any danger. “There is no danger. BJP and its allies will win the election,” he said.
Elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases.
The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
That day will be big test for Yogi, and also for the central government of Narendra Modi.