In an unusual attack on his party’s ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, Uttar Pradesh BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey said Saturday its chief Om Prakash Rajbhar was a “necessary evil” and comments made by him “should not be taken seriously”. Rajbhar, a state minister, has often been critical of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and policies of its governments at the Centre and in the state.
“The region where Om Prakash Rajbhar’s party is having presence, we are having good relationship with its supporters, workers and office-bearers. But, ‘bolchaal’ (attitude) of Rajbhar is not appropriate,” Pandey told PTI in an interview. The BJP leader referred to an eastern UP folklore to target the SBSP leader.
In the folklore, a woman used to head towards her paternal home after frequent tiff with her husband, while her in-laws and others used to placate her. Later, the village decided that no one will try to placate her. After she moved out of the village, she caught hold of a goat and started crying that even it was not stopping her from leaving her in-laws’ place. “Similar is his (Rajbhar’s) situation,” Pandey said. The UP BJP chief said there is a “limit” to getting angry virtually every day and reproach. “Hence, I say that his statements should not be taken seriously,” Pandey said.
Asked whether the BJP will try to persuade the disgruntled ally, Pandey said, “We are running a government in the state with overwhelming majority. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are doing exemplary work. On such a large ‘rajpath’, in political arena, there are some necessary evils (anivaarya buraai) who accompany you. As of now, it is Om Prakash (Rajbhar) who is a necessary evil and accompanying (us).”
The BJP leader claimed that the entire Rajbhar community was with the saffron party. In the 2017 UP assembly elections, the SBSP contested eight seats and won four of them. Rajbhar became a cabinet minister holding the portfolio of backward class welfare and divyangjan empowerment. Attacking the UP government for renaming Faizabad and Allahabad, Rajbhar had said it negated India’s “Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb” (composite culture).
The SBSP leader 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.
He has also been critical of demonetisation.