It seems the Congress is not alone when it comes to dealing with defections. Three members of the UP legislative council, including two from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and one from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), resigned on Saturday.
The resignation of three MLCs on the same day that BJP president Amit Shah reached Lucknow on a three-day visit assumes significance as the saffron party has to soon take a decision on five of its ministers in Uttar Pradesh, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who are not members of either of the two Houses.
UP: BJP President Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and UP Dy CM KP Maurya held a meeting with BJP party workers in Lucknow pic.twitter.com/ftec6EsfdC— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 29, 2017
SP leaders Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh resigned as MLCs while Thakur Jiaveer Singh of BSP submitted his resignation from the Legislative Council. The Indian Express reported that this development would ensure entry of two ministers of the Yogi Adityanath cabinet into the council.
Reacting to the development, SP chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said he had met Nawab on Eid and wondered why he had a "sudden change of heart".
BJP is indulging in political corruption from Bihar to UP. People are watching everything: Akhilesh Yadav on resignation of MLCs pic.twitter.com/ZnUCqKV6DA— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 29, 2017
"I will ask him (Nawab) as to why he was not giving the BJP leaders (ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government) a chance to face the (election)...(why) some MLCs are being lured and tutored so as to enable (their leaders) from not facing the people," he said.
Speaking about the change in the political scene, Akhilesh added, "After the 'political corruption' on a big scale in Bihar, it seems the same will be done in Uttar Pradesh...people are seeing what is happening ...those who have to go will go, they cannot be stopped."
BSP MLC Thakur Jaiveer Singh also tenders his resignation pic.twitter.com/U5jpXKpVsg— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 29, 2017
After submitting his resignation, Nawab said he was "feeling suffocated" in the party since the past one year and that he was ready to meet the BJP leadership if called by them. The Express report said that Nawab, who was close to SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav had been feeling neglected since Akhilesh took over.
Besides Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, ministers Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza have not been elected to either the state assembly or the legislative council.