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Yogi’s minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s son-in-law joins SP

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New Delhi, Mar 17: The ruling Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has suffered yet another blow after its embarrassing defeat in the recently held bypolls as state cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s son-in-law Naval Kishore joined the Samajwadi Party on Saturday. Kishore joined SP in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Ajam Khan, reported ANI.

Swami Prasad Maurya, a former OBC leader in BSP, had joined the BJP in 2016 ahead of the assembly polls in the state in which the saffron party secured a thumping win. He is currently serving as the Minister for Labour, Service planning, Urban employment and Poverty alleviation Departments in the Yogi government.

Last Wednesday, BJP was dealt a stunning blow when it was defeated in bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats, including fortress Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, in the countdown to 2019. The SP, backed by the BSP which was once its bitter rival, wrested the UP seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur while the RJD retained the Araria seat in Bihar.

The defeats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, seats vacated last year by Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya after they became Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively, hurt the BJP most.

Akhilesh Yadav’s move to field Nishad party leader Praveen Kumar Nishad prevented division of Nishad votes which number more than three lakh in Gorakhpur. In OBC Patel-dominated Phulpur, SP’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel.

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