In a jolt to the Samajwadi Party, three of its legislators quit the party on Saturday, alleging suffocation within the party, even as BJP president Amit Shah arrived here on a three-day visit.
The three lawmakers – Bukkal Nawaab, Yashwant Singh and Madhukar Jaitley — all are members of the Upper House of the state Assembly.
Buqqal Nawaab was very close to former party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and owed his prominence to him until he decided to side with then Chief Minister 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.
Buqqal Nawaab is facing many probes currently, specially of land grabbing. On Saturday, he praised the Yogi Adityanath government and said that a lot of good work was being done by the ruling BJP. He also rued that his mentor Mulayam Yadav was being humiliated in the party. He announced that many more SP members would be resigning from the party soon.
Nawaab 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.