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'Declare Seat-Sharing in 24 Hours or...': Om Prakash Rajbhar's Ultimatum for BJP in UP

Rajbhar's SBSP has demanded a list of five seats including Chandauli, Ghosi, Ambedkarnagar, Jaunpur and either Machlishehar or Lalganj in Uttar Pradesh.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:March 25, 2019, 3:10 PM IST
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'Declare Seat-Sharing in 24 Hours or...': Om Prakash Rajbhar's Ultimatum for BJP in UP
File photo of Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar. (Facebook)

Lucknow: Disgruntled ally of the BJP and chief of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, Om Prakash Rajbhar has raised fresh demands of five seats in Uttar Pradesh, giving an ultimatum of 24 hours to the BJP.

Rajbhar, who is a Cabinet Minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, slammed the BJP for failing to decide on the NDA seat-sharing with all of its allies in UP. “We are fighting for our right. We were called for a meeting with Amit Shah along with Apna Dal and our demands were asked. Seat-sharing was decided for the Apna Dal, but we are still being kept in the dark. I have given 24 hours to the BJP to take a decision on our seats else we will go our way,” Rajbhar said.

The SBSP has demanded a list of five seats including Chandauli, Ghosi, Ambedkarnagar, Jaunpur and either Machlishehar or Lalganj.

“If Apna Dal was assigned seats then why a decision could not be taken on our demands? They (BJP) finalised alliances in Maharashtra, Goa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Then why are we kept waiting,” Rajbhar added

Further, when asked about chances of joining the Congress, Rajbhar said his party can go “anywhere” as “all options are open”. The party’s decision to stay with the BJP will be revealed on Tuesday, the Minister added.

Earlier in February, Rajbhar had handed over the charge of the backward classes welfare department to chief minister Yogi Adityanath. In his letter to CM Yogi, he had cited non-payment of dues and discrepancies in scholarship to students hailing from backward castes as the reason behind his decision. He had also dared CM Yogi to throw him out of the cabinet.

The SBSP has been demanding the implementation of a sub-quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. “I will continue my fight for the poor. I am the only 72-year-old minister who is fighting against a chief minister,” the disgruntled Minister had said.

Moreover, Rajbhar had also announced that his party may go solo on all the 80 seats in UP in the general elections if the BJP decided to keep SBSP out of the coalition. The SBSP has four MLAs in the UP Assembly.

The Minister has been a frequent critic of Yogi Adityanath and has time and again claimed that his party was not getting the ‘due respect’. He had also attacked the UP government for renaming the cities of Mughalsarai and Faizabad. “They say they (the cities) were named after the Mughals. They have national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, UP Minister Mohsin Raza, three Muslim faces of the BJP, change their names first,” he had said.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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