If you have the courage, dump us, says BJP’s disgruntled ally in UP
Lucknow, Nov 18: Hitting back at the BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief, a disgruntled Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party Sunday challenged its NDA ally to dump it for daring "to call a spade a spade".
"Why are you unnecessarily carrying us? If you have the courage, dump us. The government has no time for welfare activities for backward people, SBSP chief and senior UP minister Om Praskash Rajbhar said.
Peeved over non-allotment of an accommodation to run the party office despite BJP chief Amit Shah's assurance, he told PTI here that it was clear that the BJP was not keen on carrying us along.
We were also promised posts of chairman and two vice-chairmen in different corporations equivalent to the rank of minister and minister of state, but this too did not happen, he rued.
Hence, it is clear that they (BJP) are unnecessarily carrying us," Rajbhar said in an interview.
If that is the case, let the BJP dump us, dared Rajbhar, who is known for attacking the BJP quite often despite sharing power with the saffron party in Uttar Pradesh.
His latest outburst comes barely a day after UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey, in an unusual attack on the SBSP, had termed Rajbhar a "necessary evil" and stated that comments made by the SBSP chief "should not be taken seriously".
Rajbhar, who holds the portfolio of backward class welfare and divyangjan empowerment in the council of ministers headed by Yogi Adityanath, said, "The UP chief minister in the past few days spoke against us. If this is so, then why are they not removing us?"
"We belong to the vanchit varg (deprived class) of society. Today, a child of an officer or a leader does not want to study in a government primary school. Around 40-50 years ago, the schools which had produced brilliant doctors and scientists, their level has gone down significantly.
"Now if we speak for basic changes in the education system, then it is said that we have gone mad. When we speak of quota within quota for the deprived class, our demand is mocked at, he lamented.
Taking a jibe at Pandey, the SBSP leader said, "As per the UP BJP chief, more than 100 crore Hindus are with him. Despite this, they took out a motorcycle rally. Time will tell, how much support they are actually getting."
On his party's ties with the BJP, Rajbhar said, "A decision in this regard will be taken at an appropriate time. Time will tell that whether we are with the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections or not."
The SBSP chief also said, "As of now we are with the BJP, but we will continue to call a spade, a spade. We call a wrong act a wrong act. We are expanding our organisation. Let the elections come."
In the 2017 UP assembly elections, the SBSP contested eight of the 403 seats and won four. Rajbhar became a cabinet minister.
Asked about demands being made by various organisations to take the legislative route for construction of Ram temple in Ayodha, Rajbhar said that these are acts "only to provoke sentiments and gather votes".
"When the matter is pending in the court, then why is there so much of irrelevant talk about this," Rajbhar said.
Attacking the UP government for renaming Faizabad and Allahabad, Rajbhar had recently said it negated India's "Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb" (composite culture).
The SBSP leader had said that instead of changing names of cities, districts and railway stations, the BJP should start with changing names of its prominent Muslim leaders.
"The BJP changed names of Mughalsarai and Faizabad. They say these were named after the Mughals. They have national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Uttar Pradesh minister Mohsin Raza - three Muslim faces of the BJP. They should change their names first," he had said.