10 UP MLAs, ministers quitting raises questions about BJP ‘import’ policy at cost of loyalists
New Delhi: In a span of 72 hours, between 11 and 13 January, 10 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators in Uttar Pradesh — including three ministers in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet — quit the party. There was one common thread linking them: None of them had had any ideological grooming in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or cut their political teeth with the BJP. They were all political turncoats — nine of them coming from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and one from the Congress. Their decision to switch their loyalty again, weeks before the crucial assembly elections, could be explained by both pull and push factors: The pull being Akhilesh Yadav’s relative success in projecting the Samajwadi Party (SP) as a challenger that wants to shed its image as a Yadav-Muslim party and embrace non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBCs); and the push being the centralised power structure in both the government and the party disincentivising ambitious leaders.