Former Rajya Sabha member Veerpal Singh Yadav has resigned from the Samajwadi Party along with his supporters on Wednesday, saying that the party has "deviated" from its principles.
The leader, considered close to Samajwadi Party patriarch and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, alleged that the party wasn't fighting communalism effectively enough.
"The party has deviated from the principles for which it was founded by Mulayam Singh Yadav and I am resigning from it," Veerpal Yadav told the media in Bareilly on Wednesday.
"We used to oppose communal forces and the wrong policies of the government and we were never afraid of going to jail for this. We used to stand firmly behind people belonging to weaker sections and minority communities. But for the past 20 months, the Samajwadi Party has not been able to oppose the harmful policies of the BJP," he said.
He claimed that no one from the Samajwadi Party came out in his support when he was booked by the police recently.
"Recently, BJP workers posing as Kanwariyas not only targeted a particular community but also harassed people at large. When I exposed the reality of Kanwariyas, a case was lodged against me by the government. But none of the party office bearers even made a phone call in my support," Veerpal Yadav said.
"When my own party doesn't support my fight against communalism, what is the use of being part of it?" he asked.
86-year-old Veerpal Yadav has been associated with Mulayam Singh Yadav since the formation of the party in 1992. He has been the Bareilly district unit president of the party for the past 21 years.
A section of the Samajwadi Party old guard got sidelined after former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav became president of the party last year. Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother Shivpal Yadav quit the party in September and launched the Samajwadi Secular Morcha.