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Not worried, ready for MLAs denied tickets leaving: BJP

Central leadership asks party to reach out to Swami Prasad Maurya

A senior BJP functionary said Maurya was keen on a ticket not just for his son Utkrist from Unchahar in Rae Bareli district, but as many as 22 others.

After the exit of OBC leader Swami Prasad Maurya and some MLAs closely associated with him, the BJP is bracing for over a dozen sitting legislators to switch to other parties in the coming days. But party leaders put up a brave face, saying the discontent was essentially over denial of tickets, either to the leaders themselves or people nominated by them, like in the case of Maurya, and that the BJP would not be affected.

At the same time, conscious of the damage Maurya’s exit will cause, the central leadership is doing its best to keep him back. Sources said functionaries in UP have been asked to speak to Maurya. Claiming this would show the BJP in a positive light, a leader said: “A person from the office of senior leader Amit Shah in Delhi and a very senior minister of the UP government spoke to Maurya today.”

Should Maurya press on, BJP sources said they don’t expect Tilhar MLA Roshan Lal Verma, Brajesh Prajapati of Tindwari and Bhagwati Prasad Sagar of Bilhaur (SC) who had joined the BJP with him from the BSP before the 2017 elections to stay back either. Verma was elected as an MLA on a BSP ticket in 2012.

“Verma has not been taking part in BJP organisational activities for several months and the local cadre were unhappy with him. That was an indication that he may leave,” said a BJP leader.

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A senior BJP functionary said Maurya was keen on a ticket not just for his son Utkrist from Unchahar in Rae Bareli district, but as many as 22 others.

“Maurya gave the BJP a list of around 22 leaders, demanding tickets for them. The party was in no mood to do so, though it was ready to field Maurya from his seat of Padrauna,” said a BJP leader.

On BJP MLA from Nanpara Madhuri Verma, who joined the SP a few days ago, a BJP leader in Bahraich said: “The BJP had expelled her husband Dilip Verma last year for indiscipline during panchayat polls. Hence she was not active in the BJP any more.”


A BJP leader similarly played down MLA from Bilsi R K Sharma switching over to the SP on Monday, saying Sharma had got the feedback that he was going to be denied a ticket for the coming polls. Earlier, BJP MLA from Khalilabad Jay Chaubey and Sitapur MLA Rakesh Rathore had joined the SP.

When asked why Maurya and other MLAs were leaving, MLC and BJP state vice-president Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, “The onus is on Swami Prasad Maurya to give his reasons. The BJP always gave respect to him and accommodated him.”

Another senior party leader said, “Around 10-12 more MLAs may quit the BJP in the coming days because the party is likely to deny them tickets following adverse reports from the ground. The BJP is ready for that situation, with better candidates…”

First published on: 12-01-2022 at 02:52 IST
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