By Sushil Kutty
If voters in Swami Prasad Maurya’s assembly constituency have any common sense, they would right this minute dump the congenital turncoat and hope for the best in the next whichever party’s candidate catches their fancy. Swami Prasad Maurya is the quintessential deserter for whom an all-points BOLO (be on the lookout) bulletin wouldn’t fetch positive results because he crosses over to the other side in full view of everybody who suddenly doesn’t matter to him.
If Swami Prasad Maurya had jumped ship midstream, it wouldn’t have hurt so much, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would have taken it in his stride and recovered from the one or two missteps the jolt would have given him. What caught the Yogi and the BJP on the wrong foot was Maurya dumping them the abrupt minute when it mattered—just when the Election Commission declared it was time to go polling!
Add to that the parting shot, which is what left the BJP fuming from every orifice. “The Yogi Adityanath government ignored Dalits, OBCs; more MLAs will join SP,” Maurya told media soon after news broke that he had dumped the sinking ship BJP. “The Yogi Adityanath government has been ignoring the dalit and backwards.”
For the BJP this was way below the belt, and damning—open invitation to the Dalit and OBC to slam-dunk the BJP. And this from somebody who had been pampered way beyond his weight. But then, Swami Prasad Maurya is no spring chicken when it comes to hop-step-and-jump, which he does, always on election eve.
Swami Prasad Maurya dumped Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party for the BJP on the eve of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections after 20 years of taking advantage of Mayawati’s large-heartedness. Then, too, he was a cabinet minister.
And then, too, when he left, he accused Mayawati also of “ignoring Dalits and OBCs.” It’s a script of which he keeps a Xerox in his cupboard. Yeah, Swami Prasad Maurya is a leopard. Somebody whose spots haven’t changed all these years.
If there are people who bestow on Swami Prasad Maurya full trust, they’re his children—a son and a daughter. The daughter is a BJP MP and was given the BJP ticket in 2019 because “papa” insisted.
Sangamitra hasn’t left the BJP in her papa’s wake. Maybe she will, on the eve of the 2024 general elections. After all, daughters love fathers more than sons will ever.
“Insiders”, however, say Swami Prasad Maurya is livid because the BJP “refused” a ticket for the 2022 assembly elections to his son. You cannot blame Swami Prasad Maurya, he is only following Mahabharat’s Dhritrashtra and Ramayana’s Kaikeyi.
Swami Prasad Maurya is not old and doddering. He wants to see his son and daughter “settled” before he becomes old and doddering! It is now or never—when he is at the top of his career, and in the prime of his health—when he is holding all the chips and it’s just a matter of angling to catch the fish.
That being said, the Bharatiya Janata Party is losing its touch and its hold over common people. It did not expect to be ticked off by Swami Prasad Maurya. The Yogi was revelling in “80 versus 20” when the crap hit the fan!
And then, the stampede! Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a picture of him with Swami Prasad Maurya who was quoted saying “more MLAs will join SP.” This was not “halal”—this was “jhatka” at its slaughtering best. The so-called vegetarian ‘baniya’ party BJP couldn’t have bled more. Three more BJP legislators joined Swami Prasad Maurya in dumping the BJP. Even Sharad Pawar, sitting in Maharashtra has sensed the change in wind, he predicts more desertions from the BJP in the next couple of weeks.
It hurt the BJP, both its ego and its party! There was nothing to celebrate—for, and with. Then, when the assessment began, only then, did the enormity of the Maurya-effect sink in. That’s also when the threats broke wind! BJP spokesperson Anila Singh told Republic TV, “He should know that he has skeletons in his cupboard!”
What—threat? Of course, retorted Ms. Singh. “When somebody tries to blackmail the BJP, go against the BJP’s ethos, that person deserves punishment.” With that the BJP confirmed that it’s rattled. Swami Prasad Maurya gave to the BJP what he had given to the BSP in 2017—the royal ditch with a kick to the rear end, derrière in the not Queen’s English!
And it’s now damn sight clearer that the Bharatiya Janata Party is on its way to a raucous rout in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Too many people have been cursing the BJP for leading them up the garden path. Swami Prasad Maurya levelled serious dope against the Yogi Adityanath Government. All of a sudden, all bets are off. The 35-year jinx that no chief minister is repeated in Uttar Pradesh isn’t going anywhere—not now, not ever. (IPA Service)