Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav said, “The wickets of the BJP are falling one after the other.”

Lucknow: Akhilesh Yadav on Friday taunted the BJP for “losing one wicket after the other” and not fathoming the strategy of the Samajwadi Party (SP) as he inducted two ministers and six other MLAs, who recently joined their Samajwadi Party. The ruling coalition in the party was abandoned.

Apart from six BJP MLAs, one MLA from BJP’s ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) also joined the Samajwadi Party in a large public meeting in the premises of the party office, which was in defiance of the COVID norms which led to the registration of a case. .

The Election Commission (EC) has banned election meetings till January 15. In apparent deference to the Election Commission’s order, the meeting was called a “virtual rally” and a “press conference”, going by banners behind the stage.

“BJP’s wickets are falling one after the other. Our ‘Baba’ CM doesn’t know how to play cricket. Even if he knows, he has dropped the catch,” SP president said at Yogi Adityanath Commented, the face of the ruling party in the UP elections

Mr Yadav also poked fun at the chief minister over his “80 vs 20” remark, suggesting that Yogi Adityanath should get a math teacher himself.

The chief minister had recently said that 80 per cent of voters would be in favor of the BJP in next month’s assembly elections and the remaining 20 per cent would be against it, a joke many thought about the state’s population to Muslim ratio.

The SP leader said the actual ratio of people with two rivals is just the opposite.

And after the entry of Swami Prasad Maurya and others into the SP, the BJP will lose even this 20 per cent, Mr Yadav said after offering the party membership to the OBC leader who resigned from the Adityanath cabinet earlier this week.

Mr. Maurya also referred to the 80-20 comment. “Now it will be 15 and 85. Seventy-five is ours, there will be divisions in 15 too,” he said. He also vowed to “finish” the BJP.

Using wrestling terms, the new entrant challenged the BJP leaders to try whatever move they wanted. “I will bury you in the ground. I will destroy the Bharatiya Janata Party because the time has come to free Uttar Pradesh from your oppression.”

Maurya was the first to quit the BJP, and the move was followed by similar announcements by others – mostly OBC leaders who claimed the ruling party neglected their community.

Besides Maurya, his former cabinet colleague Dharam Singh Saini and five other BJP MLAs joined the SP on Friday.

They are Bhagwati Sagar (from Bilhaur in Kanpur), Roshanlal Verma (Tilhar in Shahjahanpur), Vinay Shakya (Bidhuna in Auraiya), Brajesh Prajapati (Tindwari in Bahraich) and Mukesh Verma (Shikohabad in Firozabad).

MLA Amar Singh, representing BJP’s ally Apna Dal (Sonelal), also joined the opposition. Several district and block level politicians belonging to different parties also switched sides in the event.

But Dara Singh Chauhan, who had also left the state cabinet, remained absent. Sources said that he is likely to join the SP on Sunday.

A red turban was placed on the heads of the new members of the SP on the stage, where Maurya was sitting on the stage.

Akhilesh Yadav rubbished the BJP’s claim of winning three-fourth seats in the 403-member UP assembly. “What they meant was that they would win three or four seats,” he said.

Referring to top BJP leaders campaigning in UP, he said, “Baba CM has failed. No matter how many people come from Delhi, he is not going to pass the exam.”

He said that the BJP has taken a hit wicket and its leaders are unable to fathom the strategy of the SP. “Had he known the strategy, he would have started damage control,” the SP chief said.

Crossing out OBC leaders could help the SP expand its support base among the backward, who make up more than 50 per cent of UP’s population.

He did not leave any scope for social distancing in the SP headquarters premises and a large number of crowds were not wearing masks.

The local police registered an FIR for violating the coronavirus restrictions. It mentions 2,000 to 2,500 unidentified Samajwadi Party workers.

Maurya said that Makar Sankranti, which falls on Friday, will mark the end of the BJP.

He claimed that senior BJP leaders were in deep sleep like Ramayan character Kumbhakaran, and would not listen to ministers or MLAs. “He has lost his sleep after our resignation,” the former minister said.

He claimed that the BJP had “betrayed” scheduled castes, minorities and backward classes to gain power.

Maurya claimed that the BJP took his and current deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya’s name before the 2017 elections and formed the government on the basis of backward votes.

He described Yogi Adityanath as the ‘Skylab’ of Gorakhpur, which backward castes were denied that post by making him sit on the chief minister’s chair.

Maurya claimed that after her departure from the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mayawati could never return to power. “And now the BJP will be reduced to its 2012 position of the number three party in UP and Akhilesh will become the CM.”

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