NDA ally OP Rajbhar’s SBSP may desert BJP in Uttar Pradesh

BJP’s trouble with its allies keeps mounting with each passing day. In Uttar Pradesh now, SBSP has thrown a hint that it does not want to contest election with BJP


Biswajeet Banerjee

The Bharatiya Janata Party could lose an alliance partner in Uttar Pradesh as the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has thrown hints that it is unwilling to contest elections with BJP in future.

SBSP national president Om Prakash Rajbhar told this reporter on Monday, June 25 morning that his party is under no compulsion to continue the alliance. “Hum joota bhi khayee aur jude bhi rahen— aisa nahi hoga (This is not possible that we remain in alliance, despite being berated),” he said, adding that everyone knows what is the quality of governance in UP. SBSP has four MLAs, of whom Rajbhar is cabinet rank minister in the Yogi Government.

It is no longer a secret in Lucknow that BJP and SBSP enjoys a blow-hot, blow-cold relationship. In fact the relationship has touched such a nadir that Rajbhar had called a BJP legislator 'cycle chor’ (cycle thies), while the ruling party legislator equated the minister with a ‘kutta’ (dog)

SBSP national president Om Prakash Rajbhar: “It is up to BJP to continue alliance with us or not. But I think the relations are now a bit strained”

Rajbhar’s reaction came after BJP state president Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey reportedly called SBSP MLA Kailash Sonkar a ‘chor’, while inaugurating a function in Ajghara, Varanasi on June 19. Pandey was reportedly asked by the media why the name of local Sonkar was not included in the inauguration plaque. The BJP state president reportedly said: "The name of the local MLA was not written because he is a thief."

There have been allegations that Sonkar was involved in a scam of ₹600 crores while providing loan subsidy to 4,500 weavers. The weavers had even staged a demonstration against the SBSP MLA. Pandey had assured them that whoever was involved in the scam would not be spared, even if he is an MLA.

However, Sonkar alleges that a conspiracy has been hatched against him as he is a Dalit. “I am being targetted for cross voting in the Rajya Sabha polls. But people know who is the thief and will give their mandate in the coming 2019 polls,” he said.

SBSP president Rajbhar did not speak about the episode but said that the quality of governance in UP is poor. “I am a cabinet minister in the Yogi Government but the administration did not even listen to me. You people had seen with your own eyes how I had to work along with others to build a road near my village so that guests coming for my son’s marriage could reach the venue,” Rajbhar said. “If the local administration does listen to a minister, you can understand the plight of common man,” he said.

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