This Article is From Jan 12, 2022

"My Exit Has Caused Earthquake In BJP": SP Maurya On Quitting UP Cabinet

"I have rejected the BJP...there is no question of going back," said Swami Prasad Maurya ahead of the fast-approaching UP Assembly polls.

Swami Prasad Maurya boasted that his resignation had shaken the BJP.

New Delhi:

Swami Prasad Maurya, whose resignation from Yogi Adityanath's cabinet has set off a flurry of exits from the BJP just before elections, today said he would reveal his next move on Friday and that he "hasn't quit the BJP or joined the Samajwadi Party" yet.

Still targeting the BJP, he made a series of contradictory statements about joining the Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav.

"My move has caused a bhuchaal (earthquake) in the BJP," he boasted, claiming in an interview to NDTV that more ministers and MLAs would leave the party along with him.

Four MLAs have already announced their exit along with Mr Maurya - Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati, Bhagwati Sagar and Vinay Shakya.

Mr Maurya tried to be guarded about his next steps.

"I have only quit as a minister. I will quit the BJP soon. For now, I am not joining the Samajwadi Party," Mr Maurya said, teasing a big reveal on Friday.

"I have rejected the BJP...there is no question of going back," he qualified in the same breath.

At the same time, Mr Maurya was quoted as telling news agency ANI: "I will be joining the Samajwadi Party on January 14. I have not received calls from any small or big politician."

On Tuesday, shortly after Mr Maurya posted his resignation letter on Twitter, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photo with him, welcoming him and his supporters to his party.

"Akhilesh Yadav congratulated me," he agreed.

"I will speak to my people today and tomorrow. I will reveal my next political move on 14th (Friday). I will also tell you my decision and who will come with me," he said.

The BJP leadership, stunned by the exodus of strategically important OBC (Other Backward Class) leaders, has tasked Yogi Adityanath's deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya with persuading the rebels to change their mind.

Mr Maurya, 68, was one of the BJP's most prominent backward leaders and was key to the party's strategy of reeling in non-Yadav OBC voters in the UP election, as a counter to Akhilesh Yadav.

"Keshav Maurya is my brother. But for the past five years he has also been helpless," Mr Maurya scoffed, implying that they both shared a rocky relationship with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Mr Maurya had, two months ago, met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly to complain about Yogi Adityanath's style of working. But the party did not take any action and a three-member team from Delhi sent to UP failed to address the resentment in the ranks.