Monday 23 May 2022
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SBSP to return to BJP-led NDA? OP Rajbhar says ‘no’

The SBSP, which had fought the 2017 election in alliance with the BJP but this time was an ally of the SP, is led by OP Rajbhar who is miffed at the gossip

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After leaving the BJP-led NDA for its dissatisfaction with the number of seats the larger, national party was ready to spare for it despite its poor strike rate in 2017, and then tasting a bigger failure in the alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) is returning to the victorious, larger coalition.

The SBSP, led by former minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, had fought the 2017 election in alliance with the BJP. Om Prakash Rajbhar even served as a minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led cabinet till 2019, when he was sacked for ‘anti-alliance activities’.

The SBSP then fought the 2022 Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

Now, after the BJP won a majority in the election and returned to power in Uttar Pradesh, it is being said that the SBSP is likely to return to the National Democratic Alliance. He may even get a ministerial berth.

Last evening, Om Prakash Rajbhar reportedly met BJP leaders Amit Shah, Sunil Bansal and Dharmendra Pradhan for about an hour. There is no confirmation yet on whether the SBSP will be re-joining the BJP’s alliance or not.

SBSP adds a twist in the tail, though

Om Prakash Rajbhar said today that reports of him meeting Amit Shah were ‘baseless’. The SBSP chief categorically denied going to Delhi or meeting anyone. “I’m busy in preparations for local body polls, working to make candidates of SP-alliance victorious,” he told news agency ANI.

Last evening, media reports suggested Rajbhar met Shah and some top BJP leaders, fueling speculation of a partnership between both parties. “Those are photos. Someone can repost the old photos and say whatever they want,” Om Prakash Rajbhar said today.

Buzz about Rajbhar, who had allied with the BJP for the 2017 election and was made a minister, runs contrary to charges he hurled at the ruling party this week, when he accused them of a tacit understanding with the Bahujan Samaj Party for 122 seats.

Rajbhar alleged that candidates for seats in Uttar Pradesh’s Purvanchal region had been decided at the BJP office while symbols were allotted at the BSP’s office. He claimed to have proof of his charges although the conspiracy theory does not explain why the BJP did not do better in the eastern part of the state.

“‘BSP और BJP का मेल हो गया, जो UP में बड़ा खेल हो गया’. पूर्वांचल की 122 सीटों के बसपा प्रत्याशियों के फ़ैसले भाजपा कार्यालय में लिए गए, केवल चुनाव चिन्ह बसपा कार्यालय से दिए गए,” he said.

“I can provide evidence… Parties that had been in power four times, the BSP or Congress (INC), supported the BJP. Where did their votes go?” he asked.

In the recently concluded election, the BJP retained power for a second consecutive term despite winning fewer seats than it did in 2017. Rajbhar’s party won six constituencies.

Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party won 111 to finish as the second-largest in the and the main opposition to the BJP, which claimed 255 on its own and 273 with its allies.

The INC claimed just two seats and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party one.

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