In a day of fast-paced political developments in Uttar Pradesh, the Opposition camp received a severe jolt with three members of legislative council (MLC) resigning from their seats amid speculation of them joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Of the three MLC, Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh belong to the principal Opposition Samajwadi Party (SP), while Jaiveer Singh is a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member.
They have already submitted their respective resignation letters to the Vidhan Parishad speaker. Nawab and Jaiveer Singh were ministers in the previous SP and BSP regimes respectively.
This development has come as a shot in the arm for BJP on a day when party president Amit Shah arrived in the state capital for a three-day official visit.
Now, with three Vidhan Parishad seats falling vacant, BJP has the option of accommodating at least four of its ministers, including Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath, in the state legislature for their continuation in the public offices.
Adityanath and four of his ministerial colleagues, namely deputy CMs Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya, Transport Minister Swatantra Deo Singh and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mohsin Raza are still not a member of either house of the legislature, which is mandatory under law within six months of assuming office.
Since the Yogi council of ministers took the oath of office on March 19, they still have ample time till September to get elected to either Vidhan Sabha through direct polling or the Vidhan Parishad.
Meanwhile, there is wide speculation that more legislators from the Opposition camps could follow suit in the present fluid political scenario in the state, where BJP continues to gain strength after it came to power earlier this year after a gap of nearly 15 years.
The political drama unfolded around the same time when Shah had arrived at the Lucknow airport for his hectic three-day visit.