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Battle for UP: Maurya never raised concern over OBC, says BJP

Lucknow, Jan 12 (IANS) Senior UP minister and government spokesman Siddhartha Nath Singh has said that former BJP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, in all the five years that he was a minister, had never raised any concern about the state government overlooking interests of backward castes, Dalits or the youth.

"Those who did not work and expected things to happen in the last minute, also understood whether they will get a ticket. So, accordingly, left because of that. They knew that they won't get a ticket," he said.

In his resignation letter, Maurya has come down heavily on the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh. As he quit the BJP, Maurya accused the party of working against the backward community.

BJP sources said that Maurya was angling for a ticket for his son Utkarsh Maurya. His daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is already an MP from Badaun.

Singh said, "What surprises me is that we sat together in the cabinet and many other groups of ministers. All the while we were together, he always praised that the Yogi government, along with the Modi government, has done the maximum for Dalits, OBCs, maximum for the farmers."

Maurya, a five-term MLA, wields clout among 35 per cent non-Yadav OBCs in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His exit from the BJP has triggered a rippling effect with the resignation of three other MLAs - Roshan Lal Varma, Brijendra Prajapati and Bhagwati Sharan Sagar. All three have accused the Yogi government of being anti-OBC.