After one Cabinet Minister 5 MLA's quit BJP in UP

After one Cabinet Minister 5 MLA's quit BJP in UP

Yogi Yogi

LUCKNOW: Just before the Uttar Pradesh election, five MLA quit on Tuesday and joined Akhilesh Yadav.

Swami Prasad Maurya, a top minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, posted his resignation letter on Twitter.

In the hours that followed, four more MLAs close to him - Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati, Bhagwati Sagar and Vinay Shakya - announced their resignations.

Swami Prasad Maurya, a powerful OBC (Other Backward Class) leader and five-time MLA, joined the BJP in 2016 after quitting Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He was central to the BJP's plans to draw a critical section of OBC voters to counter Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party.

The other three party members have travelled the same route as Mr Maurya - from the BSP to the BJP to Samajwadi Party.

The exits come as Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath and top BJP leaders met in Delhi to discuss their election strategy.

"Despite a divergent ideology, I worked with dedication in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. But because of the grave oppression of Dalits, OBCs, farmers, unemployed and small businessmen, I am resigning," Mr Maurya wrote in the stinging resignation letter.

As his letter emerged on Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photograph with Mr Maurya, welcoming him and his supporters to the Samajwadi Party.