Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) President Om Prakash Rajbhar, who claimed to have walked out of the Yogi Adityanath government on Monday, has said that the BJP wanted to "finish" his party.
"BJP leaders were pressurising me to contest the Lok Sabha elections on their symbol. Why should I when I have my own party? This was a ploy to destroy me party," he said in an interview to IANS.
Rajbhar said that he had waited long enough for the BJP to decide on seat sharing with SBSP but the ruling party kept postponing a decision.
"It was clear that they wanted to use me to get Rajbhar votes but did not want to give seats to us. They were using my face in posters of their campaign and I even complained to the EC about this but no action was taken," he said.
He said that the BJP did not respect its allies even though it used them to win elections.
"The BJP got 325 seats in 2017 only because of us. Our alliance with them got them OBC support," he added.
Rajbhar said that his community held sway in about 12 Lok Sabha seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh where polling is to be held in the sixth and seventh phase of elections.
His community includes Rajbhar and other OBC sub-castes like Dhangar, Pal, Prajapati, Arkvanshi and Sonar.
The Rajbhar community constitutes about 20 per cent of the population in eastern Uttar Pradesh and is regarded as the second-most politically dominant community after Yadavs.
The SBSP chief, interestingly, said that if all went well, he could ally with the BJP again for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
Asked to explain this contradictory stand, he smiled and said: "This is what politics is all about."
Rajbhar has fielded 39 candidates in the ongoing elections and his supporters claim that he is determined to teach a lesson to the BJP so that it realises its mistake.