Poaching from Opposition begins with Amit Shah landing in Lucknow

As BJP President Amit Shah arrived in Lucknow on Saturday, several MLCs from SP and BSP made a beeline to the BJP and cracks in the opposition became wide open

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Biswajeet Banerjee

The day BJP national president Amit Shah reached Lucknow, poaching began in opposition parties as two Legislators from Samajwadi Party and one from Bahujan Samaj Party resigned from Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) vacating the seats for BJP ministers including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Deputy Dr Dinesh Sharma.

The turn of event was fast. No one had any inkling about what was in the offing. Two SP MLC s Bhukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh went to the residence of Vidhan Parishad chairman Ramesh Yadav separately and tendered their resignation. BJP MLA Mayankeshwar Saran Singh accompanied Yashwant Singh to Yadav’s residence. At the same time BSP MLC Thakur Jaiveer Singh too tendered his resignation from Legislative Council.

Yadav later confirmed that three of them have resigned from the Council. The tenure of both the SP MLCs were to end in July, 2022 while that of the BSP MLC in May, 2018.

There are reports that another SP MLC, Madhukar Jetley too can tender his resignation. Incidentally, these SP leaders were considered to be close to Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yashwant Singh, a Thakur leader from eastern UP, is also close to Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya. There are indications that Raja Bhaiya too can join BJP. He was a minister in Akhilesh Yadav Government and was minister in BJP regime too when Rajnath Singh was the chief minister of UP. He is now an Independent MLA from Kunda.

BJP needs 5 vacancies in the Legislative Council to accommodate its five ministers, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his two deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma along with Swatantra Deo Singh and Mohsin Raza. The vacancies are required to be filled by September 18. There are reports that Raza could be replaced with another Muslim face.

With these resignations the total number of vacancies in the Council has gone up to four. If SP MLC Madhukar Jetley actually resigns, BJP will have the opportunity to get all its five ministers elected to the Council. There are indications that all the opposition MLCs could join BJP in Amit Shah’s presence.

Bukkal Nawab has already had a change of heart as he said that Ram Mandir should be built in Ayodhya. “If not in Ayodhya where else should this temple be constructed – in Afghanistan,” he quipped when reporters asked about his stand on the Ram Mandir issue.

He had also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath saying BJP government was doing a “terrific” job – better than Akhilesh Yadav.

There can be two more vacancies in Legislative Council because of the pending disqualification petitions filed by SP against Ambika Chaudhry and Nasimuddin Siddique who is a rebel BSP leader. The Council Chairman could be taking a decision on these petitions soon.

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Published: 29 Jul 2017, 3:37 PM