Lucknow | Jagran Politics Desk: Following his resignation from the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet just ahead of the key assembly elections in the state, Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday warned that one minister and three to four MLAs will resign from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) each day till January 20.

Saini's warning comes hours after he met former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who has welcomed him in the Samajwadi Party.

"I have resigned because for 5 years Dalits, backward classes were suppressed, their voices were suppressed... We will do whatever Swami Prasad Maurya will say. One minister and 3 to 4 MLAs will resign every day till January 20," Saini was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Saini is a four-time MLA from Nakud in Saharanpur and a key Other Backward Class (OBC) leader in the region. Just 24 hours ago, Saini - who was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ayush - had refuted the reports of his resignation and said that he is in the BJP and will not leave the party.

However, on Thursday, he resigned from his post. In his resignation letter, Saini mentioned the callous attitude of the BJP government in the state towards farmers, Dalits, the unemployed and those belonging to other backward classes.

Eight BJP MLAs, including three ministers, have resigned over the past three days.

Earlier in the day, Shikohabad BJP MLA Mukesh Verma resigned from the primary membership of the party. He cited the Uttar Pradesh government's "lack of respect" towards backward classes and Dalits as the reason behind his decision.

Verma, who is also expected to join the SP, said he would continue the "fight for justice" under Maurya.

Avtar Singh Bhadana, Brijesh Kumar Prajapati, Roshan Lal Varma, Bhagwati Sagar and Vinay Shakya are the other five other leaders who quit the BJP in the last 36 hours.

The Uttar Pradesh assembly polls will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7. The counting of votes will be done on March 10.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma