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SBSP chief Rajbhar hints at return to old alliance with BJP ahead of 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls

Rajbhar heads the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha (BSM), a conglomerate of 10 smaller regional groups. Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM is also part of it.

Published: 16th October 2021 03:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2021 10:53 AM   |  A+A-

Former Uttar Pradesh Minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar

Former Uttar Pradesh Minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: As the battle for Uttar Pradesh, due early next year, is inching closer, a fast-paced realignment of political forces is taking place. In a surprising move, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president Om Prakash Rajbhar is hinting at a return to his old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2022 assembly polls.

Rajbhar, who had parted ways with the NDA ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in view of differences over seat allocation, had earlier swore never to go along with the saffron party again, saying it would be no less than committing political suicide for his party.

Rajbhar, who heads the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha (BSM), a conglomerate of 10 smaller regional groups as well as Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, now claims that if the BJP accepts his demands formulated in the larger interest of society, the BSM was ready to go along with it.

"In the interest of society, we went to the BJP with the report of the Social Justice Committee, but they did not listen to us. Now, if the BJP accepts it, then we can go with them also," Rajbhar says. He adds that every possibility must be kept alive in politics.

Giving an open offer to mainstream parties for an alliance, Rajbhar added that he would go with whichever party accepts the issues raised by the BSM.

However, as per highly placed sources, Rajbhar has already opened channels for talks with the BJP leadership. Besides accepting the social justice committee report, Rajbhar’s other demands include free education till post-graduation, waiver of domestic electricity bill, prohibition of liquor, border limit of police, weekly leave to police force and same facilities for home guards as police.

Simultaneously, Rajbhar is also expanding the BSM. After clinching an alliance with the AIMIM, he held talks with estranged Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav who has his own outfit—Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia. Rajbhar has also held talks with Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad. “All these leaders are BJP rivals who had been doing anti-BJP politics all along and could not risk their political future by going along with the NDA. If Rajbhar goes along with the BJP, then his Bhagidari Morcha would disintegrate,” says Prof AK Mishra, a prominent political scientist.

Prof Mishra adds that the question of Owaisi and Chandrashekhar going with the BJP doesn’t arise. Moreover, Shivpal is still hopeful of stitching some understanding with the Samajwadi Party. “Only Rajbhar along with other members of BSM will go with the BJP,” he observed.

However, the final declaration on the matter will be made on October 27 in the BSM rally to be held in Mau district. Earlier, Rajbhar was a cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath led NDA government. He had contested the 2017 UP assembly elections in alliance with the BJP but was removed as the minister of Backward Class Welfare in 2019.



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