Dara Singh Chauhan Quits as UP Minister

New Delhi: A second minister, Dara Singh Chauhan, has quit Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet in Uttar Pradesh, continuing a flurry of exits that started with Swami Prasad Maurya’s shock resignation yesterday.

This is the second OBC (Other Backward Class) leader to quit team Yogi just before the Uttar Pradesh election next month.

Mr Chauhan, from eastern UP, was the minister for environment and forests in the Adityanath government and had joined the BJP in 2015, after years in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

He was made the head of the BJP’s OBC Morcha – a plum post, and then a minister after he won the 2017 assembly election. When in BSP, Mr Chauhan was a Lok Sabha MP between 2009-14 and a Rajya Sabha MP in the late 90’s.

“It cannot be that I say something on one day and then resign the next day. I hoped my voice would be heard sooner or later. But when things came to the point that no one was willing to listen to me, I had to resign,” Mr Chauhan told media when asked why he was quitting just before the elections.

In a huge blow to the BJP as it seeks re-election in India’s most politically vital state, two ministers and four MLAs have quit so far and are set to join the Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav.

“I worked with dedication but I am resigning as I am hurt by this government’s oppressive attitude towards the backward, deprived sections, Dalits, farmers and unemployed youth and the neglect of quota for the backward and Dalits,” Mr Chauhan wrote in his resignation letter, using almost the same language as Swami Prasad Maurya.

On cue, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya put out a tweet urging Mr Chauhan to reconsider the move.

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