Another departure from Samajwadi Party, MLC Ashok Bajpai resigns
Lucknow: Yet another veteran socialist leader on Wednesday parted ways with Samajwadi Party, days after its MLC Sarojini Agarwal's departure.
SP MLC Ashok Bajpai resigned from Legislative Council, saying, "“The atmosphere in SP has changed since Netaji is not party chief. I am an old Samajwadi, but was feeling uneasy in the current SP structure."
It is believed that he was not comfortable with the growing stature of his fellow party leader Naresh Agarwal within the party. Agarwal also hails from Hardoi, the native place of Bajpai.
The exit of Bajpai was the fourth in 12 days. His tenure in the upper House was till January 30, 2021.
Talking to the media, Bajpayi said he was protesting against the treatment meted out to Mulayam Singh, which according to him was the reason behind the party's drubbing in the 2017 assembly elections.
Known for his proximity to Mulayam Singh, Bajpayi was given ticket to contest the Lok Sabha Lucknow seat in 2014 but his name was struck off by then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Later, the party sent Bajpai to the upper House.
Bajpayi has been a three-time legislator and Minister in successive Samajwadi Party governments. His exit from the party is seen in political circles as a blow to the Samajwadi Party.
Ashok Bajpai is likely to join Bharatiya Janata Party.
It may be mentioned here that MLCs Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh from the SP and Thakur Jaiveer Singh from the BSP resigned and later joined the BJP on July 29.