VARANASI: Targeting to ruin ruling BJP’s plan of bettering its 2017 assembly polls performance in Purvanchal during 2022 assembly polls, the newly stitched red and yellow alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Suheldeo Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) gave on Wednesday the slogan of ‘Khadera Hobe’ to defeat the saffron party.
Inspired by Mamata Banerjee’s 2021 West Bengal assembly polls winning ‘Khela Hobe’ slogan, SP chief and ex-UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, designed ‘Khadera Hobe’ (chase-off) to spoil BJP’s plans in East UP. Purvanchal houses maximum 156 out of the 403 assembly seats in the politically crucial state.
The Mahapanchayat (first show of strength by the new alliance) at the Haldarpur Ground in Mau district of East UP marked the 19th Foundation Day of the SBSP. The SBSP represents the interests of the most backward Rajbhar caste that is in significant numbers in 30-40 seats of Varanasi and Ballia region.
Making light of October 25 inauguration of nine medical colleges (seven of which are in East UP) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the SP chief said: “These nine medical colleges are shining from outside, but behind the curtains they are hollow, as they all are bereft of beds, doctors and medicines. Never forget how during the covid pandemic, the absence of hospitals, beds, medicines, doctors and oxygen claimed the lives of your dear ones.”
Wearing the yellow scarf of SBSP (while the SBSP chief wore the SP’s red cap) the ex-UP CM also accused the Yogi Adityanath government of stalling road and other projects of erstwhile SP government in East UP’s Ballia and Salempur.
Rajbhar promised that once the government led by Yadav came to power, SBSP’s promises, including total ban on alcohol and waiving off of domestic electricity bills and rendering days off to every cop after eight duty days would be fulfilled. Rajbhar was a minister in Yogi Adityanath government before parting ways with BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
RJD may contest some seats in tie-up with SP
Bihar’s main opposition, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is set to contest the UP polls on a few seats in alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP), party sources said.
Till the previous 2017 polls, the RJD supported candidates in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which shares borders with Bihar’s Gopalganj – the native district of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. RJD sources said the party is considering fielding its candidates in at least 15 seats in eastern UP.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his younger son Tejashwi Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly, will campaign not for RJD candidates but also for the SP.
When asked about the possibility of RJD fielding candidates in UP, party spokesperson Chitranjan Gagan affirmed that the party was considering an alliance with the SP.
“The RJD supported the SP till the last assembly elections in 2017 and the LS elections in 2019. But now, it is being felt that the party should also field its candidates on some seats allying with the SP,” Gagan said. When asked if Lalu would try to form a strong opposition, Gagan said his party always believed that all non-BJP parties should come together. Other Bihar parties like the Hindustan Awami Morcha and the Vikasheel Inssan Party and the JD-U have also announced their participation in the UP polls, either in alliance with BJP or independently. –Rajesh Kumar Thakur