Ex-minister Dara Singh, Apna Dal MLA join Samajwadi Party

LUCKNOW, Jan 16:
Former Uttar Pradesh minister and OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan joined the Samajwadi Party on Sunday, days after he resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet ahead of the assembly polls. Besides Chauhan, Apna Dal (Sonelal) MLA from Vishvanathganj Assembly constituency in Pratapgarh district R K Verma too joined the Akhilesh Yadav-led party which has emerged as the main challenger to the BJP in the state.
Apna Dal (Sonelal) is an ally of the BJP.
On Friday, former ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, five BJP MLAs and one from the Apna Dal (Sonelal) had crossed over to the Samajwadi Party.
While joining the Samajwadi Party on Sunday, Chauhan trained his guns at the BJP, saying, “When the BJP formed government in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, it gave the slogan ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’… But, ‘vikaas’ (development) of a handful of people was done and the rest were left to their fate.” Terming the Samajwadi Party as his “old home”, he said, “We will change the politics of Uttar Pradesh, and make Akhilesh Yadav the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh once again.”
“People belonging to the OBC and Dalit communities will come together. Our rivals may try their level best but will not be able to stop this storm. A change is inevitable,” Chauhan said.
In a jolt to the ruling BJP, Chauhan, who represents the Madhuban Assembly constituency in Mau district, had resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet on Wednesday while alleging that the Dalits, the OBCs and the unemployed did not get justice from the BJP government.
“It was the poor who had made the government but others took all the advantage in the past five years,” he alleged after resigning as the minister for forests and environment.
He represented the Ghosi seat in the 15th Lok Sabha after winning the 2009 general elections on Bahujan Samaj Party ticket. In the 2014 general elections, he was defeated by the BJP’s Harinarayan Rajbhar by over 1.4 lakh votes.
The next year, he joined the BJP and was appointed the party’s OBC Morcha president and fielded from the Madhuban assembly constituency.
Swami Prasad Maurya was the first to desert the BJP, and the move was followed by a similar announcement by others — mostly leaders from the Other Backward Classes who claimed that the ruling party had ignored their community. (PTI)