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Take out shoes and thrash BJP leaders, says SBSP’s chief


Lucknow, May 18: Disgruntled BJP ally SBSP’s chief Om Prakash Rajbhar has urged supporters to thrash ruling party workers with shoes if they spread “misinformation”, prompting the senior coalition partner to suggest that the EC should take note. Last month, Rajbhar submitted his resignation from the Yogi Adityanath’s BJP-led ministry, but it is yet to be accepted. He has also announced fielding Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party candidates from several constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.

SBSP’s chief Om Prakash Rajbhar

Rajbahr is heard asking his party workers to beat the BJP workers in a video of his address to an election meeting earlier in Ghosi parliamentary constituency. The video has gone viral on social media. The video shows him asking supporters to beat up BJP workers if they suggest that a local SBSP candidate is not actually contesting. “BJP workers are telling everyone that we have an alliance, and Mahendra is not contesting,” he is heard saying in the video clip.

"So, if you find a BJP leaders saying such things, take out your shoe and beat him 10 times with it,” he said.

The SBSP has fielded as many as 39 candidates in the state in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Reacting to Rajbhar's statement, state BJP media coordinator Rakesh Tripathi said, "This is extremely unfortunate and objectionable.”

[BJP ally Om Prakash Rajbhar resigns from Yogi Adityanath's UP govt]

“We expect the Election Commission to take cognizance of the remarks and initiate stringent actions. Tough action must be taken for making statements that can spread hatred in society,” he said.

The SBSP has fielded as many as 39 candidates in the state in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The SBSP's flags were also seen in Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi's roadshow in Mirzapur on Friday. The SBSP is a BJP ally in UP, and had won four seats in the 2017 UP Assembly elections.

Rajbhar is the UP cabinet minister for Backward class welfare and Divyangjan Empowerment. Earlier on April 15, Rajbhar had said there was a meeting on the alliance at the chief ministers residence on April 13, in which Union minister J P Nadda was also present.

At that meeting, the BJP had proposed to field an SBSP candidate on its symbol, which was disapproved by him, Rajbhar added. He insisted to use his party symbol even if the SBSP got just one seat to contest.

The UP minister for backward class welfare and 'divyangjan' empowerment said he had sought time from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, but was yet to get an appointment. Meanwhile, Rajbhar's son and SBSP general secretary Arun Rajbhar said, "The alliance with the BJP is for the assembly polls and not for the Lok Sabha elections."


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