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New Delhi: In another blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, a second minister has resigned from the cabinet in a span of two days as assembly polls loom. Dara Singh Chauhan submitted his resignation letter on Wednesday (January 12), saying that the Yogi Adityanath government had been unfair toward backward castes, Dalits and other marginalised groups in the state.
Chauhan had been the forests and environment minister in the Adityanath cabinet since 2017.
Also on Wednesday, an arrest warrant was issued against S.P. Maurya – the BJP leader who quit the party on Tuesday – in a seven year old case of alleged hate speech. The warrant was issued by a court in Sitapur but the police’s sudden interest in the case is being seen as an act of vindictiveness on the part of the BJP government. Maurya, a former member of the Bahujan Samaj Party, was booked in 2014 for saying “Goddess Gauri or Lord Ganesha should not be worshipped during weddings. It is a conspiracy by upper caste-dominated system to mislead and enslave Dalits and backward castes.”
In his resignation letter, Chauhan said while he had put all his efforts into his work as a minister, “the government’s gross neglect of backward classes, Dalits, farmers and unemployed youth, as well as the interference in reservations for backward classes and Dalits” was the reason for his decision.
Chauhan, an OBC leader, represents the Madhuban assembly constituency as MLA. He joined the BJP in 2015, and also served as president of the BJP OBC Morcha. Before that, he was a member of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
On Tuesday, another important OBC leader in Uttar Pradesh, Swami Prasad Maurya, had quit the BJP. He is likely to join the Samajwadi Party, though the decision is yet to be officially announced. After Maurya’s resignation, three other MLAs followed suit on Wednesday evening.