Presidential poll: SBSP chief OP Rajbhar extends support to Droupadi Murmu

Rajbhar claimed that both Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath had sought his party’s support for Murmu.

Published: 15th July 2022 03:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2022 03:44 PM   |  A+A-

Former Uttar Pradesh Minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar

SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar announced his party’s support to NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu here on Friday. SBSP has six MLAs in UP assembly.

The Presidential polls will be held on July 18 and the result will be declared on July 21. Rajbhar’s decision, however, may jeopardize his alliance with SP further.

While making the announcement at a press conference, Rajbhar claimed that both Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath had sought his party’s support for Murmu. Rajbhar confirmed that he had met Shah in New Delhi on July 8 after getting a call from the Home Minister.

Rajbhar accepted that he also attended a dinner party hosted by Yogi Adityanath in honour of Droupadi Murmu where the CM sought his party’s support for NDA candidate referring to his goal to fight for the weak.

Rajbhar added that the foundation of his party was laid for the cause of underprivileged and exploited sections of society for whom he had been struggling for the last 20 years.

In fact, SBSP had got into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party just before the recently held UP State elections. He had contested on 19 seats and won six of them in eastern UP. Significantly, Rajbhar had played a crucial role in helping SP improve its tally in UP assembly, especially, in eastern UP. SP and SBSP had swept three districts including Ghazipur, Azamgarh and Ambedkarnagar where Rajbhars make a considerable chunk of population. BJP drew a blank in those districts.

ALSO READ | NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu set to get over 60 per cent votes in presidential poll; JMM now extends support

Although Rajbhar, on Friday, remained non-commentative on his alliance with Akhilesh Yadav with a cryptic reply that he had not decided yet on the issue, he has been sulking for quite some time and the estrangement has been in public as well.

The seeds of bitterness were sown between the two allies when Rajbhar expected his son Arvind to be sent to Vidhan Parishad with SP support in June but Akhilesh did not oblige.

Moreover, the bypoll defeat in Azamgarh came as an insult to Rajbhar’s injury where he had worked hard to ensure the victory of SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav. With the announcement of bypoll result, Rajbhar took a jibe at Akhilesh Yadav suggesting him to do the real time politics by coming out of the comforts of AC rooms. However, the SP chief did not take the suggestion sportingly and rebuffed Rajbhar by saying that he did not need anyone’s advice.

Rajbhar’s angst increased manifold when he was not called by Akhilesh Yadav at a meeting to muster support for Opposition’s candidate Yashwant Sinha. Rajbhar’s main refrain is that if Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhury could be called to the meeting why was he ignored on July 7. Next day, Rajbhar attended a dinner hosted by CM Yogi Adityanath to honour Murmu.
Meanwhile, with Friday’s announcement, Rajbhar has joined the club of opposition leaders who have extended support to Murmu in UP. Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav also announced recently that he will vote for Murmu. Mayawati’s BSP had already declared its support for Murmu.

However, the political analysts feel that with the SP-led alliance already in tatters, if SBSP also drifts away, the SP would be reduced to an 'MY' (Muslim, Yadav) party again, an image which limited its appeal in the past.

India Matters


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