Political tremor hits SP, BSP; Akhilesh Yadav slams BJP

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SP chief Akhilesh Yadav
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow : After Bihar and Gujarat, convulsions were witnessed in the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh where four MLCs quit their parties on Saturday, with a BSP MLC even joining the BJP.

Former Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of being behind the resignations of his party MLCs.

The three SP lawmakers are Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant Singh and Madhukar Jaitley, while the BSP legislator is Thakur Jaiveer Singh, who was a minister in the Mayawati government during her 2007-2012 reign.

Singh's nephew Upendra Singh 'Neetu', the district panchayat chief of Aligarh, also joined the BJP. 

Bukkal Nawab was very close to former party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and owed his prominence to him until he decided to side with Akhilesh Yadav in the turf war within the party earlier this year. Yashwant Singh is a close aide of independent legislator from Kunda, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias 'Raja Bhaiyya'. There is speculation that he may switch to the BJP. 

Madhukar Jaitley, also a close aide of Mulayam Yadav, was a state minister level functionary in the Samajwadi Party government and was advisor to Akhilesh Yadav on externally aided projects, including Lucknow Metro.

Jaitley threw his weight behind Mulayam Yadav after his son overthrew him and took over as national president of the party. Jaitley was one of the few who openly rebuked and challenged Akhilesh Yadav in his hey days as Chief Minister and slammed him for the "shoddy treatment" meted out to the senior Yadav. 

Bukkal Nawab is facing many probes currently, specially of land grabbing. 

Nawab had created waves some time ago by saying he would be happy to carry the first brick to Ayodhya for the construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya and that he would also financially contribute to it. 

The resignations from the SP coincided with the arrival of Amit Shah in the state capital on a three-day visit to interact with party leaders.

Alleging a conspiracy, Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of indulging in political corruption from "Bihar to UP". "People are watching everything," he said.

"The BJP is behind the resignations of SP MLCs. Bukkal Nawaab is an old member of our party. I had also gone to meet him on Eid. What is the reason that he has changed... They (BJP) lure some MLCs to their side," he said.

Nawab said the SP has become a "Samajwadi akhada (wrestling ground)". He attacked Akhilesh Yadav and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.

"If they call us, then I might go to the BJP," he said, adding that many more SP members will join the BJP.

While in Bihar, the BJP effected a switch-over by the JD-U, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, to form a coalition government, in Gujarat, six Congress MLAs have resigned, threatening the chances of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the August 8 Rajya Sabha election.