While the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has been critical many times and spoken in public since the beginning of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s regime, currently the trusted ally Apna Dal has raised the banner of revolt and is mounting pressure on the central leadership citing “humiliation” from the state BJP cadre
Lucknow: At a time when the BJP has just pacified and sealed an alliance deal with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, two of its allies in Uttar Pradesh are now putting pressure on the saffron party.
While the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has been critical many times and spoken in public since the beginning of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s regime, currently the trusted ally Apna Dal has raised the banner of revolt and is mounting pressure on the central leadership citing “humiliation” from the state BJP cadre.
The SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is the minister for disabled and backward welfare in the Adityanath government, has been vocal for long regarding his growing disillusion with the BJP over myriad problems.
Last week, Rajbhar met the BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi. According to reports, most of his demands were conceded, but he is now asking for more, especially the demand for implementing the recommendations of the social justice commission on reservations for alternative backward castes and also for contesting five Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Insiders say that both the parties were raising the same issue that the state and national leadership of the BJP has been "ignoring and humiliating" it.
A couple of days ago, the SBSP chief wrote to Adityanath, by "surrendering" his post as he was "unable to do justice to the portfolio". Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma was tasked with reassuring Rajbhar. However, it had very little success.
Sources say that the SBSP was in touch with Samajwadi Party (SP) and hence his demands were not accepted. Rajbhar may join hands with Shivpal Singh Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP). He has met Yadav thrice within the past two months, triggering speculations of their returning.
"We have put in our demands. However, the BJP isn't paying heed," the SBSP chief told the media. He said that the 'gathbandhan dharma' wasn't being followed by the BJP camp. The SBSP has a following among the opposite backward castes in eastern Uttar Pradesh and also has four members in the Assembly.
The latest to join the discontentment bandwagon is the Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel. The party has two Lok Sabha MPs from Uttar Pradesh and also nine MLAs.
Anupriya is the minister of state for health in the Narendra Modi government. She is crucial for the BJP in UP, due to the party’s substantial say among the Patels and OBC including the Kurmi community.
The party has currently red-flagged its relations with the BJP, citing it had been on its own because the saffron party appeared "neither interested nor accommodative for the alliance in the state".
"We had given the BJP the time till February 24 to solve the problems raised by our party. Otherwise we have to talk to our party workers for the next course of action,” she said.
Meanwhile, Anupriya has met Congress general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia, sending jitters to the BJP. Sources said that the Congress was quite keen to accommodate Apna Dal because it can play a key role in UP and especially for Priyanka who is rumored to be contesting the Lok Sabha election from Phulpur seat, where Anupriya and her party have a decent following in the region.
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Last Updated Mar 1, 2019, 7:17 PM IST