Lucknow: Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) legislator and former AIMIM ally Om Prakash Rajbhar on Tuesday met with BJP state unit president Swatantra Dev Singh at the latter’s residence here on Tuesday.
The sudden meeting has resulted in new political twist in the Uttar Pradesh politics.
The meeting comes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections and two years after the ouster of Rajbhar from the cabinet of the Yogi Adityanath government. He had contested the 2017 UP assembly elections in alliance with the BJP and was expelled as the minister of Backward Class Welfare from the BJP in 2019 due to disagreements over seat-sharing.
After his expulsion, Rajbhar formed the “Bhagidaar Sankalp Morcha” a coalition of about 10 political parties led by his own party SBSP and held rallies for this alliance. He also hit out against his old ally, BJP whom he alleged was against the backward sections of society and had not done much for them.
He has also started meeting with all prominent political leaders after his expulsion from the party, including Asauddin Owaisi of AIMIM, Sanjay Singh of AAP, former CM and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party’s chief Shivpal Singh Yadav.
In January 2021, the SBSP chief had held a series of meeting with Asaduddin Owaisi for chalking out strategy for contesting UP elections in alliance with each other.
After his hour-long meeting today with Swatantra Dev at the latter’s residence, Rajbhar said: “If anyone wants to work on caste-based census, social justice, reservations for Dalits and backward sections, I’m with them. Otherwise, I have made the agenda clear that if anyone wants to come, he can join Bhagidaar Sankalp Morcha”.
He also added that the next Uttar Pradesh chief minister should be a person from backward communities.
“As per the 2011 census, the population of the backward communities in India is 52 percent. UP should have a Chief Minister who belongs to the backward communities,” said Rajbhar.
Congress state unit president Ajay Kumar Lallu reacted to today’s meeting of the SBSP chief with the meeting, stating that Rajbhar going back to BJP would be no less than suicide for the leader.
Surendra Rajput, a Congress spokesperson quipped “Did the BJP create the Bhagidaar Sankalp Morcha?”
Samajwadi Party also said that BJP was scared of a loss in the 2022 elections and was desperately looking for an alliance member hence met with the SBSP chief.
Meanwhile, Rajbhar has expressed confidence that the Bhagidaar Sankalp Morcha will form the next government after the 2022 UP assembly elections.