An arrest warrant has been issued against Swami Prasad Maurya in connection with a hate speech he allegedly made in 2014, a day after he resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Reports said a warrant has been issued in Sultanpur for the arrest of Maurya.
The warrant was issued after Maurya, an MLA from Padrauna, reportedly failed to appear in a Sultanpur court for the case on Wednesday despite being sent summons on January 6. He has now been asked to appear before the court on January 24.
Maurya in 2014 had allegedly made pejorative remarks against Hindu gods when he was in the Bahujan Samaj Party.
“Goddess Gauri or Lord Ganesha should not be worshipped during weddings. It is a conspiracy by upper caste-dominated system to mislead and enslave the Dalits and backward classes,” he had reportedly said at a rally.
In 2016, a warrant in his name in the case, was put on hold by the Allahabad High Court.
Earlier in the day, Maurya had said that his exit from the party has caused a ‘bhuchaal’ (earthquake) in the BJP.
“I have only quit as a minister. I will quit the BJP soon. For now, I am not joining the Samajwadi Party,” Maurya said, adding that he would divulge his next move on Friday.
Apart from Maurya, four BJP legislators – Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati, Bhagwati Sagar, and Vinay Shakya – have already quit the party.
Hours after Maurya announced his resignation of Tuesday, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav shared a photo of with him, welcoming him to the party.
Sixty eight-year-old Maurya, who was the Minister for Labour and Employment in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, was a well-known backward leader in the BJP and was vital for the party to secure non-Yadav OBC votes.