Lucknow: In a twin setback to the Samajwadi Party, its MLCs Ashok Bajpai and Ambika Chowdhury (now in BSP) on Wednesday resigned from the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, taking the number of party legislators who have quit recently to five.
The resignation of Bajpai, who said he was upset over the treatment being meted out to senior leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, comes a day after three SP MLCs resigned and joined the BJP.
Bajpai is also expected to follow suit, sources said.
"I am tendering my resignation from Council membership. I am peeved at the treatment meted out to 'Netaji' (Mulayam Singh Yadav). He is being ignored in the party. We have not worked to strengthen the party for this day. Senior leaders are being ignored and the message going from this is visible," Bajpai said after giving his resignation to Council chairman Ramesh Yadav.
Another SP MLC, Chowdhury, who switched sides to BSP from SP during the Assembly polls but was still an MLC, also tendered his resignation to the Council chairman after Bajpai.
Chowdhury had also contested Assembly polls on BSP ticket from Phephna seats in Ballia district but had lost.
"I was MLC in SP quota. I had to resign earlier but I could not due to some reasons. 'Behenji' had also asked me to resign later. I am in BSP and will remain there," Chowdhury said.
On August 4, SP MLC Sarojini Agarwal also resigned from the Legislative Council membership and joined the BJP.
On the reasons for her resignation, she had said she was not feeling comfortable in the party as Mulayam was not given any importance.
"I had been 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 I did not feel like working in it," Agarwal had said.
Earlier 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.