Lucknow: Om Prakash Rajbhar, chief of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, which is an ally of the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP in Uttar Pradesh, has said that his outfit might not support the ruling party during the Rajya Sabha polls in the state.
The BJP has enough MLAs to send eight of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha but the SBSP's four seats could hold the key to sending the ninth candidate to the Upper House.
"We are still in alliance with the BJP but they never consulted us before finalising their candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections or the Lok Sabha bypolls," said Rajbhar.
At a rally organised by SBSP for backward castes, Rajbhar, a cabinet minister in the state government, said, "Things are not going in the right direction. Nobody is listening to the woes of the poor from Lucknow to Delhi and as a result, BJP lost both Phulpur and Gorakhpur by-elections. The state government is completing one year but the level of corruption is still the same."
Speaking to News18, Rajbhar accused the BJP of not taking the alliance or its partners seriously. "In the state assembly elections, BJP had won because of us but in the civic polls we were ignored and at the ninth hour told to contest elections on our own. Even during Lok Sabha bypolls, we were ignored even though our party could have gotten a good number of votes for the BJP candidate. Not a single programme was fixed in Phulpur ahead of the bypolls either.”
The leader further alleged that people who could not garner even a single vote for BJP were given important ministries in the government. “Rajya Sabha polls are to be held on March 23 and yet, BJP has not asked us to support their candidate. Should we go and kindly ask them to take our vote?” said Rajbhar, who did clarify that his party was still undecided about who they would support in the RS elections.
The miffed leader further said that the BJP had forgotten coalition dharma and said, “BJP is not following coalition dharma. I have been raising my concerns from time-to-time but these people are just busy boasting about their 325 seats. The UP Government is just focused on temples instead of welfare of the poor, who have voted them to power,” he said.
As per the numbers, BJP and its allies currently have 324 seats in the Assembly. One Rajya Sabha seat requires support of 37 MLAs, in such a case, BJP can easily get eight of the 10 seats and still be left with 28 surplus votes. If the OP Rajbhar-led SBSP decides not to go with the BJP, the ninth BJP candidate may not get an RS berth.
After the pre-poll alignment with the SP, the BSP’s candidate with 19 in his kitty could count on the 10 surplus votes of Akhilesh Yadav's party, besides seven of the Congress and one of RLD to reach the magic figure of 37.
The BJP, till now, has announced nine candidates for Rajya Sabha from UP — Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao and Anil Kumar Agarwal. The Samajwadi Party has given ticket to Jaya Bachchan and BSP has announced the name of Bhim Rao Ambedkar as their RS candidate.