Rajbhar says several oppn parties want him onboard - Hindustan Times
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Rajbhar says several oppn parties want him onboard

Nov 15, 2023 05:30 AM IST

Rajbhar admitted 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 has to follow political niceties.”

Lucknow: BJP ally and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar said on Tuesday that several opposition leaders, part of the larger opposition alliance, were keen on him joining their parties but 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.

After being discovered by the then BJP chief Amit Shah in 2016, Rajbhar had gone on to become a minister in the first Yogi Adityanath government before parting ways in 2019. (HT FILE)
After being discovered by the then BJP chief Amit Shah in 2016, Rajbhar had gone on to become a minister in the first Yogi Adityanath government before parting ways in 2019. (HT FILE)

“The BJP’s top leadership in Delhi has assured me of a berth in (Yogi) government whenever the ministry expansion takes place,” he said.

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Yogi Adityanath had earlier met Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda in Delhi on November 1, triggering curiosity over the much-delayed ministry expansion in which Rajbhar, along with the BJP’s Rampur lawmaker Akash Saxena and senior leader Dara Singh Chauhan is among the claimants.

The latest buzz about a UP ministry expansion is that it would take place after assembly results of five states are out on December 3.

“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 anf JD (U) were ‘pressurising’ him to join them.

After being discovered by the then BJP chief Amit Shah in 2016, Rajbhar had gone on to become a minister in the 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.”

“Party khyaal rakhegi unka (the party will take care of him),” a senior BJP leader had said.

Rajbhar admitted 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 has to follow political niceties.”

“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 BJP and NDA and the vision and appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath,” he added.

Rajbhar plans to launch a state-wide movement on implementation of recommendations of the social justice committee and the Justice G Rohini Commission report on reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

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