LUCKNOW: A sulking BJP ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) said today that it would go it alone in the urban local bodies' polls in Uttar Pradesh in view of the lack of "any positive attitude" from its bigger NDA partner.
The SBSP's announcement comes close on the heels of another BJP ally, Apna Dal (Sonelal), deciding not to contest the UP civic elections as a "mark of protest".
"We had rounds of talks with UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey and general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal to explore a tie-up with the BJP. But the BJP leaders did not show any positive attitude. Hence our party workers are filing nomination papers for the elections on their own," SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, told reporters in Ballia.
He said that "time will tell" whether contesting the urban local bodies polls separately will affect his party's ties with the BJP.
Rajbhar said that his party may contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections separately "if the BJP persists with such an attitude".
The SBSP has four MLAs in Uttar Pradesh.
Last week Apna Dal (Sonelal) had said that it would not contest the upcoming urban local body elections as a "mark of protest" as the BJP had not accommodated its demands.
"The party wanted to field its candidate for the post of mayor of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation along with 25 other posts of chairmen and corporators of various nagar palikas and nagar panchayats in the state. The list was submitted to the BJP two days back, but it did not accommodate us," Apna Dal (S) spokesperson Arvind Sharma had said.
As a "mark of protest", the party has decided not to contest the urban local bodies elections, he said.
The Apna Dal (S) has nine members in the UP Assembly.
The urban local bodies' polls will take place in three phases beginning from November 22. Results will be announced on December 1.
In the 2017 UP Assembly election, the BJP along with its allies -- Apna Dal(S) and SBSP -- bagged an overwhelming 325 seats in the 403-member Legislative Assembly.
The BJP had won 312 Assembly seats (out of 384 it contested), while Apna Dal(S) won nine seats out of 11 it had contested. The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party grabbed four seats out of eight it contested.
Reacting to the development, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said in Lucknow, "Elections to Lok Sabha, state Assembly and urban local bodies are fought on different issues. Every election has its own strategy. And, the strategy changes according to region and circumstances. We had an electoral alliance with the SBSP in Assembly elections, but it may not be the case for the urban local body elections."