Two more Samajwadi Party (SP) MLCs resigned from the UP Legislative Council on Wednesday, taking the number of members who have quit in recent days to six, five of them from the SP. Although both Ashok Bajpai and Ambika Chaudhary were elected to the house as SP members, Chaudhary had joined the BSP in January this year. He was still was an SP MLC as per council records since the Samajwadi Party did not move for cancellation of his membership.
While Chaudhary on Wednesday said he will remain loyal to BSP, Bajpai claimed he is yet to decide on joining any party.
Earlier, Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh and Sarojini Agrawal of SP and Thakur Jaiveer Singh of the BSP had resigned. All of them joined the BJP.
The BJP needs five seats in either of the Houses in UP, as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and ministers Swatantra Deo Singh and Mohsin Raza have to become a member of either House by September 19. With two more resignations today, the BJP is set to secure six seats in the Legislative Council, where the party at present has only eight members.
After his resignation, Bajpai told The Indian Express that he has also resigned as an SP member, and that he had informed Mulayam about his decision earlier. “I was upset because the present (SP) leadership has neglected party founder Netaji (Mulayam), while Shivpal Yadav has almost lost his existence in the party. They are the people who raised SP. I had been associated with Netaji since 1977.”
A seven-time MLA and first-time time MLC, Bajpai also claimed that he has not vacated the seat for BJP, and has not decided to join any party so far.
Legislative Council chairman Ramesh Yadav accepted Bajpai’s resignation and notified the seat falling vacant from today. Bajpai’s term was to end on January 30, 2021.
Hours after Bajpai’s resignation, Ambika Chaudhary reached the Council chairman’s office and submitted his resignation. He said he has quit on moral grounds because he was elected an MLC as an SP nominee but had joined BSP earlier this year. His resignation was not aimed at helping the BJP, as five seats are already vacant after Ashok Bajpai’s resignation, he pointed out.
“If I had resigned earlier, it would have sent out a message that I was helping the BJP. I was waiting for the right time, and I resigned today after resignation of five MLCs,” Chaudhary said. He added that he will continue to be associated with BSP.
Chaudhary had been associated with the SP since its foundation in 1992, and was elected MLA for the party on four occasions. After he lost the Assembly election in 2012, the party sent him to the Legislative Council and inducted in the government as a Cabinet minister. His term in the Council was to end on May 5, 2018.
Once close to Mulayam, Chaudhary, after joining the BSP in the presence of party chief Mayawati, had said that he was sad at the way the party patriarch was treated by his son – then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Chaudhary had contested the Vidhan Sabha election this summer on a BSP ticket from Phephna constituency in Ballia district and had lost.
SP did not move for his disqualification in the Council.
“If notice for disqualification of Chaudhary had been given and his membership was cancelled, we had to face allegations that the SP had helped BJP in getting any of its leaders elected to the Council in the by-election on Chaudhary’s seat,” an SP leader explained.