Miffed BJP Ally OP Rajbhar Goes Solo, Fields Candidates Against PM Modi and Rajnath Singh
The candidates announced by Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Janata Party also includes names of Abhay Patel from Rae Bareli, Jitendra Singh from Amethi and Shiv Kumar Prajapati from Prayagraj, among others.
File photo of Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar. (Facebook)
Lucknow: Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), a dissenting ally of the BJP, which decided to go solo in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, fielded candidates on 39 seats in the state on Tuesday.
The party has fielded Siddharth Rajbhar against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi constituency and Babban Rajbhar against Union Minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.
The development comes after a furious Rajbhar had walked into Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's home in Lucknow at 3 am on Sunday with his resignation letter and demanded to see him. He was turned away and was told that the Chief Minister was sleeping.
According to sources, the bone of contention was that the BJP was only ready to field a candidate on its symbol, much to Rajbhar’s disapproval, who demanded to use his party symbol on five seats. When deliberations failed, the SBSP chief threatened to go solo.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, Rajbhar said, “I was willing to work out an understanding with the BJP, but have been forced to go solo, as we were not given any seat. On the other hand Apna Dal (S) was given two seats.”
Rajbhar added that he refused to “succumb to pressure from BJP” and finish his own party. “We will be contesting on 39 seats in the state,” he said.
The candidates announced by Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Janata Party also includes names of Abhay Patel from Rae Bareli, Jitendra Singh from Amethi, Shiv Kumar Prajapati from Prayagraj, Ramakant Kashyap from Faizabad and Yashwant Singh from Azamgarh.
Rajbhar, who holds a cabinet berth in the Adityanath cabinet, had been calling out the BJP government for quite some time now, demanding a sub-categorisation of the 27-per cent Other Backward Class (OBC) reservation into three categories to benefit the most-backward castes. He had also threatened to go solo in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections if his demands were not met by the BJP.
However, hours before the press conference by Election Commission of India regarding the dates and phases for 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, the UP government nominated 72 names in various corporations, commissions and other bodies giving them minister status. Names Rajbhar’s camp were adjusted in these government bodies, allegedly in order to pacify him ahead of elections.
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