BALLIA: Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party leader Om Prakash Rajbhar, a BJP ally and Uttar Pradesh minister, has threatened to go it alone in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections if the party's demand for earmarking a part of the 27-per cent OBC quota for most backward castes is not met.
Speaking to reporters here Friday, Rajbhar said, "As of now we are in the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), but the BJP has to decide whether we will remain with them or not."
"If the BJP does not give shape to our demand by February 24, we will take a decision on the tie-up during a party programme in Varanasi and announce the decision on contesting on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh the next day," he said.
The SBSP, which enjoys considerable support among the Rajbhar community, is part of the BJP-led coalition government in Uttar Pradesh.
The party has been demanding that a part of the Other Backward Castes (OBC) quota in government jobs and higher education institutions be earmarked for most backward castes and mahadalits so that they can avail its benefits more.
According to the party, benefits under the reservation policy are at present largely cornered by the relatively upper castes.
"The BJP promised there would be a split in the 27-per cent quota for OBC and that it would be implemented six months before the polls.
"Now barely 100 days are left for the polls, we have given an ultimatum (to the BJP) that if the announcement is not made in the next 100 days through a cabinet decision, we will part ways and contest Lok Sabha elections on our own," he said.