Shravasti: It is raining resignations in the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The sitting MLAs are quitting the saffron boat and joining the socialist camp of Samajwadi Party (SP). As of Thursday, January 13, 2022, legislators Rakesh Rathore, Radha Krishna Sharma, Madhuri Verma, Jai Chaubey, Swami Prasad Maurya, Brajesh Prajapati, Roshan Lal Verma, Avatar Singh Bhadana, Dara Singh Chauhan, Mukesh Singh and Dharm Singh Saini have tendered their resignation from the ruling party.
The majority of the leaders who have quit the BJP in the last four days have accused the ruling party of being blind towards the backward section of society.
While the BJP is mum on the issue of defection, state’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya took to Twitter to contain the situation requesting Dara Singh to reconsider his decision.
Keshav, on his Twitter, wrote, “I feel pained to see family members getting lost in the way. I request that it will be their loss to join a sinking ship. Dear elder brother Dara Singh Ji, please reconsider your decision.” However, according to party insiders, not much effort was made by the BJP to contain the situation, and they are looking for some more resignations from the Terai region.
If believed correct, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not ready to give the tickets to these leaders who had switched the boats with the Samajwadi Party just ahead of the elections.
WILL SP GET THE ADVANTAGE?
A recent photo tweeted by Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav was seen as a message that the former UP chief minister was getting the support of smaller outfits with a good grip on their respective core vote banks. The picture showing Krishna Patel, the mother of Apna Dal leader and Union Cabinet Minister Anupriya Patel, on the central chair along with uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, Om Prakash Rajbhar and others was seen in the vein that Akhilesh had been successful in convincing them all to come together and fight against the BJP which came to power in the state with a whopping majority of 312 in the 403 seat-strong UP Assembly.
It may be mentioned that the BJP in 2017 was able to make inroads in UP by taking the help of smaller regional political outfits like Apna Dal, Nishad Party and others. The fight is to attract the leaders of the backward communities or the non-Yadav OBCs, and as of now, Akhilesh Yadav looks in a stronger position. Still, it will be very early to say if this support will also convert into votes for his party, making him the chief minister for the second time.
Retired professor RR Jha of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) says that the trend of the resignation of leaders suggests that private gains are now above the ideologies in politics.
“Politics is the service of the public, but in recent times, politicians have become opportunists. There was no such defection seen in the post-independence elections, be it the elections of 1957, 1962 or 1967. We did not see any resignation or switching the parties before the elections unless there was a personal reason. Unlike the present time, ideology was essential for politicians,” says Jha, adding that, “Post-1967 this trend of defection started, and the intention of serving the public started declining from politicians.”
The retired head of the department of political science further said that a large number of defections from the ruling party just before the elections also suggest that the ruling party is in troubled waters and the party’s core voter is looking at other people parties as to the option. “Anti-incumbency is also one factor which should be kept in mind,” he added.
Veteran journalist Ratan Mani Lal believes that there are three reasons behind the defection of journalists from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh. The first could be that these legislators would have got the hint that the saffron party was going to deny them the ticket this time, the second could be that the caste reasons because the non-Yadav OBC leadership was a bit uncomfortable in this government and the resignations are a clear indication of it. The last reason which looks pretty relevant could be the working style of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The MLAs have always complained that the chief minister never mingled with them and did not listen to their complaints.
“As of now, it would be too early to say anything. I do not see the defection of legislators as having a devastating effect because BJP is a very big party, and they have alternatives with them for replacing these leaders. The BJP will galvanise, not paralyse,” he said.