13 MLAs from various parties are going to join the Samajwadi Party (SP) ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday.
Pawar also said his party will be contesting the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh with Samajwadi Party and other smaller parties.
"The people of Uttar Pradesh are looking for change. We will surely see the change in the State," said Pawar. "Communal polarisation is being done in Uttar Pradesh, ahead of Assembly elections. The people of UP will give a befitting reply to this," he added.
The NCP supremo's comments came after Uttar Pradesh Minister Swami Prasad Maurya on Tuesday resigned from the state cabinet. And later within minutes, he joined the the Samajwadi Party in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Informing about his decision, Maurya said in a tweet in Hindi, "Due to the attitude of gross neglect towards Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small and medium-sized traders, I am resigning from the council of ministers of Yogi (Adityanath) of UP."
In his resignation letter addressed to Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Maurya said, "I discharged my responsibilities as the minister for labour, employment, coordination in the council of ministers headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, despite adverse ('vipreet') circumstances and ideology." Maurya, who hails from a backward caste, had joined the BJP before the 2017 assembly polls. He is the MLA from Padrauna.
His daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is a BJP MP and represents Badaun in Lok Sabha.
The Uttar Pradesh polls will be held in seven phases -- on February 10 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3 and 7. The results will be declared on March 10 along with the four other poll-bound states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)