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Uttar Pradesh elections 2022: BJP hit by resignations; SP welcomes rebels

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Politics

NEW DELHI: The announcement of poll schedule for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections seems to have triggered a churning in state politics.
As the state braces for a 7-phase polls starting from Februrary 10, all the key parties are witnessing turmoils within their ranks, and could well see a few defections to rival camps.
The ruling BJP, which is on a strong wicket and is going all out to retain power in the state and script history, has been rattled by a series of resignations – two ministers and 4 MLAs to be exact.
The rebellion in the BJP was led by Swami Prasad Maurya, a heavyweight OBC leader who had joined the saffron party after quitting BSP ahead of the 2017 assembly elections.
A day after Maurya’s exit, another minister Dara Singh Chauhan announced his decision to quit the Yogi Adityanath ministry.
Chauhan represents Madhuban assembly constituency in Mau district.
If Swami Prasad Maurya is to be believed, the BJP could see more resignations in the next few days.
Another OBC leader Om Prakash Rajbhar has gone on to claim that one to two ministers would quit the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet daily and this figure would go up to 18 by January 20.
All the rebel BJP leaders have accused the party of neglecting the dalits, the backwards and the farmers – suggesting that there could be a method to the exodus.
Some of these leaders had joined the BJP ahead of the 2017 elections and are now looking for greener pastures.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who has emerged as the principal challenger to the ruling BJP, has been quick to welcome the BJP rebels.
Akhilesh tweeted photos with Maurya and Chauhan welcoming them soon after they resigned from the ministry.

सामाजिक न्याय और समता-समानता की लड़ाई लड़ने वाले लोकप्रिय नेता श्री स्वामी प्रसाद मौर्या जी एवं उनके साथ आने वाले अ… https://t.co/evoD99iw33

— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) 1641890673000

‘सामाजिक न्याय’ के संघर्ष के अनवरत सेनानी श्री दारा सिंह चौहान जी का सपा में ससम्मान हार्दिक स्वागत एवं अभिनंदन!… https://t.co/qpOm0CeIoq

— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) 1641984966000

The BJP rebels are expected to join the Samajwadi Party on January 14.
The BJP also lost an MLA in Western UP as Avtar Singh Bhadana quit the party and joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in presence of party chief Jayant Chaudhary on Wednesday.
But while the Samajwadi Party may be gloating at BJP desertions, some of its own leaders have dumped the party to join the saffron camp.
SP MLA Hari Om Yadav and former MLA Dharampal Singh joined the saffron party on Wednesday.

politics SP leader joining BJP

Congress MLA Naresh Saini (C) and former SP MLA Dharmpal Singh (2nd from left) join BJP (PTI photo)
Another party to lose prominent leaders in the state ahead of elections is the Congress.
All India Congress secretary and prominent Muslim face of western Uttar Pradesh Imran Masood and Congress MLA Masood Akhtar have joined the Samajwadi Party.
How much the Samajwadi Party can gain from these additions, would depend on how it balances between the new entrants and its old members, especially the ticket aspirants.
Akhilesh Yadav has already stitched alliances with 6 other small parties for the elections and seat sharing will be a huge challenge for the SP-led opposition alliance.
The BJP on the other hand has gone into damage control mode. It urged the ministers to reconsider their decision. It remains to be seen how many more leaders of the BJP are planning to quit the party.
The apprehension that the BJP may change candidates in several seats to fight anti-incumbency may be partly responsible for this exodus.
While it remains to be seen how much these desertions harm the BJP electorally, it surely has taken the party by surprise and also has raised questions on its picture perfect image.
Elections for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly will be held in seven phases.

politics Uttar Pradesh Assembly Polls

The polling will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, and March 3 and 7 in seven phases.
The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
In the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged 312 seats out of the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh assembly while Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) won 19 and Congress could manage to win only seven seats. The rest of the seats were bagged by other candidates.

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