Former Samajwadi Party member of the UP Legislative Council Sarojini Agarwal on Saturday joined the BJP at the ruling party’s headquarters in Lucknow in the presence of deputy chief minister and state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.
On August 4, Agarwal had resigned from the Legislative Council membership, saying she was not feeling comfortable in the party as senior leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was being ignored. “I had been a party MLC twice due to Netaji (Mulayam). As he is not active in the party, I have resigned. I don’t have problems with anyone in the party and I respect everyone. I felt awkward after split in the party and did not feel like working in it,” Agarwal had said.
In a setback to the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday, its MLCAshok Bajpairesigned from the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, taking the number of party legislators who have quit recently to four.
On July 29, during BJP President Amit Shah’s visit to the state capital, two SP MLCs and one from the BSP had resigned and joined the BJP. The three sitting MLCs Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh (both Samajwadi Party) and Thakur Jaiveer Singh (BSP) had resigned from the membership of the House.
The resignation of five MLCs – four of the SP and one BSP – assumes significance as the saffron party has to soon take a decision on five of its ministers in UP, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who are not members of either House.
Besides Adityanath, deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, ministers Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza are also not members of either of the two Houses. They have to be elected to either House (Assembly or Legislative Council) in order to continue as ministers. With the resignations in the Council, the entry of these leaders in the House is considered an easy task.
SP has 62 members in the Council, while BSP has 9, BJP 8, Congress 2, RLD 1, independent group 5, teachers group 5, independent 1, unaffiliated 1, and 6 are vacant.