Updated: January 13, 2022 1:14:05 pm
In another setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh, Mukesh Verma, MLA from Shikohabad in Firozabad district, quit the party Thursday morning, becoming the seventh MLA to leave the party in the last three days ahead of the Legislative Assembly elections scheduled to begin next month.
Backward caste leader Verma said no attention was paid to leaders from Dalit, backward and minority communities by the BJP government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the last five years. Sources said the resigned MLAs are set to join the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday.
In his letter to BJP state chief Swatantra Dev Singh, also marked to BJP national president JP Nadda, Verma wrote: “This is to inform you that in the last five years, no attention has been given to leaders from Dalit, backward and minority communities and they were not given their due respect. Apart from this, the state government has neglected Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youths, and small and mid-level traders. I am resigning from the BJP’s membership because of the state government’s attitude.”
Verma stated he would support Swami Prasad Maurya who had earlier resigned from the state cabinet, saying that “Mayura is the leader for marginalised and exploited communities”.
Verma joined the BJP in the run-up to the 2017 Assembly polls along with Mayura from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He had contested the 2012 election on a BSP ticket.
Earlier, on Wednesday, another minister Dara Singh Chauhan resigned while Avtar Singh Bhadana, BJP MLA from Meerapur in Muzaffarnagar, joined the RLD, an ally of the SP in the upcoming election.
Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati Prasad Sagar are the other three MLAs who followed Maurya and left the BJP.
Meanwhile, Maurya is yet to confirm whether he will join the SP. But speculations are rife after SP chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photograph of him with Maurya.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning after his resignation, Verma reiterated what he wrote in his letter and said: “They have not done any work in the last five years, and there have been scams everywhere. You can see the teacher recruitment scam… How many backwards should have been given jobs… The BJP is a party for the forward (castes), and not those who come from the backward and exploited communities. Along with me, there will be at least 100 MLAs. Every day, there will be an injection.”
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