Lucknow, Nov 15 (IANS) In what seems to be a veiled warning to the BJP, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar has said that several opposition leaders, part of the larger opposition alliance, wanted him to join their parties.
Rajbhar is reportedly upset over the delay in cabinet reshuffle and his induction into the council of ministers.
He added that he planned to stay with the BJP-led-NDA and had been assured of a cabinet berth whenever ministry expansion took place in Uttar Pradesh.
“The BJP’s top leadership in Delhi has assured me of a berth in the (Yogi) government whenever the ministry expansion takes place,” he said.
“I wish to make it clear that we are fighting not for ministry but for social justice,” Rajbhar said while adding that several opposition parties, including the Congress, Shiv Sena and JD(U) were ‘pressuring’ him to join them.
Rajbhar said that senior Congress leader Pramod Krishnam had contacted him several times, He said, “Even today I had a chat with him. He invited me to the Kalki Mahotsav and I assured him that I would be going. One must follow political niceties.”
He further said, “Yes, I have contacts with all political parties and if anyone calls, I definitely talk but I want to make it clear that we will go into the 2024 Lok Sabha polls talking about policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party and NDA.”
Om Prakash Rajbhar said that he plans to launch a statewide movement on implementation of recommendations of the social justice committee and the Justice G. Rohini Commission report on reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Rajbhar joined hands with the BJP in 2017 and became a minister in first Yogi Adityanath government before parting ways in 2019.
He subsequently contested the 2022 UP polls in alliance with the Samajwadi Party but after the BJP’s spectacular win, again joined the NDA and has since been hoping that he would be rewarded for his support.
After the BJP’s Ghosi loss in east UP, in which he led an aggressive campaign, there was a question mark on him becoming a minister but senior BJP leaders suggested that given his connect among Rajbhars (OBCs) in east UP, he would be “accommodated.”
Replying to a question about changing loyalties, Rajbhar said that politicians often have double standards — ‘like snakes with two mouths’. “I am also one,” he added.
He stated that predicting when and where a leader might switch sides is unpredictable, asserting that no political party is entirely virtuous. This statement has stirred political discussions and is seen as a tactic to exert pressure.