After weeks of speculations over the widening rift, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party Chief and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) showed first signs of dissent against ally Samajwadi Party as their party chiefs attended the dinner hosted by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday.
SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar and PSP(L) chief Shivpal Yadav attended the dinner hosted by the Chief Minister at his official residence to welcome NDA’s Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu on Friday evening.
Apart from the two, the dinner was also attended by Raghuraj Pratap Singh. While Singh openly declared his support for Murmu, Rajbhar and Shivpal didn’t declare their open support.
Om Prakash Rajbhar’s SBSP and Shivpal Yadav’s PSP(L) were in alliance with Akhilesh Yadav for the UP assembly polls this year. However, after the poll debacle, the equations between the alliance partners are not going well.
A PSP(L) leader said that his party chief was not invited by Akhilesh, whereas CM Yogi had invited them.
“When someone is not inviting you how can you go there? And when someone else is inviting then how can you ignore it? The decision to support or not to support any candidate in the Presidential election will be taken by our Party Chief Shivpal Ji, however, he went on to attend the dinner as he was invited for it.” PSP(L) Spokesperson Prakhar Singh told News18.
The meeting with CM Yogi has fuelled speculations that both Shivpal and Rajbhar are likely to walk off the alliance with the Samajwadi Party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
News18 earlier reported that Rajbhar and Shivpal were not invited by the Samajwadi Party for meeting with the opposition’s Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha. The only SP ally present in the meeting was Rashtriya Lok Dal Chief Chaudhary Jayant Singh.
“If there was respect in the Samajwadi Party, then as you are saying, why didn’t they invite us? We’re not invited just to be insulted. However, we will remain with the alliance till the time Akhilesh Yadav calls it off by himself,” OP Rajbhar told News18.
After Akhilesh’s meeting, SBSP Chief Rajbhar called a meeting of six MLAs in Mau on Friday to decide the future course of action.
Meanwhile, sources in Samajwadi Party claimed that Akhilesh was not very keen on speaking to Rajbhar. The two leaders had met for the last time on the nomination day of the recent bypolls.
After SP lost both Rampur and Azamgarh bypolls, both leaders have not met and Rajbhar has been taking digs at the SP Chief since then and even went on to say that “Akhilesh Yadav should step out of AC rooms if he wanted to win the elections."