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2 SP, 1 BSP members quit UP Council; likely to join BJP

July 29, 2017 21:37 IST

Two opposition Samajwadi Party and one Bahujan Samaj Party members on Saturday quit the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council causing a disquiet among opposition parties in the state.

The development came on a day Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah arrived on a three-day visit to the state capital.

The resignations of the sitting MLCs -- Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh, both from the Samajwadi Party, and Thakur Jaiveer Singh from the Bahujan Samaj Party -- have been accepted, Chairman of Legislative Council Ramesh Yadav said.

Taken by surprise, the SP, the BSP and the Congress blamed the ruling BJP for their move.

Shah, who arrived here this morning, will be holding meetings with party leaders, ministers and office bearers till July 31.

The development comes days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dumped the RJD and the Congress in the neighbouring state and took the support of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to continue in power.

SP chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said he had met Nawab on Eid and wondered as to why he had a "sudden change of heart".

"I will talk to him (Nawab), if he has not been kept hostage and ask him as to why he is not giving the ruling BJP leaders a chance to face the public (election)... (Why) some MLCs are being lured and tutored so as to enable (their leaders) to not face the people," he told reporters.

"While 'political corruption' is on a big scale in Bihar, it seems the same will be done in Uttar Pradesh... The people are seeing what is happening... Those who have to go will go, they cannot be stopped," he said.

In a statement, BSP president Mayawati said the BJP's "greed for power has turned into lust for power".

The recent developments in Gujarat and the resignations of the MLCs in UP proved that the Modi government has put the future of democracy at risk, she said, adding that instead of bowing before the BJP, the three MLCs should have faced the official terror and harassment as that was the only way to counter such forces.

Giving a jolt to the Congress in Gujarat, six of its MLAs have resigned ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, for which the party has fielded its heavyweight Ahmed Patel.

After submitting his resignation, Nawab said he was "feeling suffocated" in the party for the last one year and that he was ready to meet the BJP leadership if called by it.

Jaiveer Singh alleged that the BSP has deviated from its path and, therefore, he resigned from the party.

UP Congress general secretary Deepak Singh, an MLC, alleged that as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his ministers will not be able to get elected to the assembly, they are "forcing" the opposition members in the Council to resign from their seats by giving them the threat of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department.

The BJP 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.

Besides Adityanath, deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, ministers Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza are not members of either the assembly or the Council and will have to get elected to either of the two Houses to continue as ministers.

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