Barely an hour before BJP national president Amit Shah landed at Lucknow airport for a three-day tour of organisational meetings, two MLCs of the Samajwadi Party resigned from their Legislative Council membership Saturday paving way for the entry of at least two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. BSP MLC Jaiveer Singh, who was a minister in the previous Mayawati administration, has resigned too from the Legislative Council. All three of them may meet the BJP chief during his stay in Lucknow.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and ministers including Swatantra Deo Singh and Mohsin Raja are not members of any house of the UP Assembly at present. In order to continue in the cabinet, they will have to take the membership of either the Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad by August.
Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh of the SP gave their resignations to Legislative Council chairman Ramesh Yadav on Saturday. Both leaders had been associated with the SP for a long time. Close to SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nawab was feeling neglected in the party organisation after Akhilesh Yadav replaced Mulayam as the head of the party.
When contacted, Singh said, “Maine apni seat Yogi ji (Adityanath) ke liye samarpit kar di hai.” (I have dedicated my seat to Yogiji.)
Singh added that he resigned because he was not happy with the recent remark of Akhilesh about China.
“I am deeply pained with anti-national and pro-China statement that Akhilesh made in the House on Wednesday. Before taking any decision, I waited for Akhilesh to give an explanation in the House but he did not turn up on Friday. I am disciple of former PM Chandrashekhar and I could not compromise with issue of nation. I will be with India, not China,” Singh said.
Singh’s term in the Legislative Council was expiring on July 7, 2022. If his resignation is accepted, a by-election will held and the BJP can easily get that seat for any of its ministers. Singh denied any talks with BJP leaders but he praised Adityanath’s work as chief minister.
Reacting strongly to the resignation of his party’s MLCs Akhilesh Yadav said, “BJP is indulging in political corruption from Bihar to UP. People are watching everything.” Taking a jibe at Nawab Akhilesh went on to add, “Main Bukkal Nawab ji se baat karoonga ek baar, agar vo abhi tak kahin qaid na ho gaye hon to. (I will talk to Bukkal Nawab if he isn’t imprisoned so far).”
A by-election will also be held to fill the seat of Nawab who told reporters that he was feeling suffocated in the SP for the last one year. Nawab too praised the work of Adityanath and said he was ready to meet BJP leaders if he was invited.