Lucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party, who rules Uttar Pradesh with an iron fist, is facing an exodus from its own party members just ahead of the crucial UP Assembly elections.
Former Uttar Pradesh Minister's Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini have switched sides and joined the Samajwadi Party in the presence of SP supremo and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.
Both of them had resigned from the Yogi Adityanath led UP Government and the ruling BJP ahead of Assembly polls in the state beginning from February 2022.
Several other prominent MLA's have also jumped ship and switched sides. It includes the likes of sitting MLA's Bhagwati Sagar, Vinay Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma and Brajesh Kumar Prajapati who have also joined the 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 (MoS) Vidrohi Maurya, former Chief Security Officer Padam Singh and former Congress MLA Bansi Singh Pahadiya have also joined the Samajwadi Party.
This domino effect initially began with the resignation of Swami Prasad Maurya, a prominent leader of the OBC community, who exited the UP cabinet. It was followed by the resignation of Dara Singh Chauhan as Minister on 12 January and Dharam Singh Saini's resignation on 13 January.
The Samajwadi party has stitched a coalition of small regional parties for the upcoming elections and has emerged as the biggest challenger to the ruling BJP in the state.
The SP would be hoping that this impetus further accelerates their momentum leading to the polls. The SP have stated that this exodus is a clear indication of anti-incumbency against the Yogi Government and it seems like the SP are confident to returning to power in Lucknow.
In response, the BJP have quashed these claims by saying that those who have left the party were afraid of not getting tickets for the elections.
The UP assembly elections will be held in seven phases from 10 February to 7 March. The polling will be conducted on February 10,14,20,23,27 and March 3 and 7 respectively. The results will be declared on 10 March.