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SP ally’s chief Rajbhar backs Droupadi Murmu for president, says Akhilesh ignored him

Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar attended a dinner hosted by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in honour of Murmu on July 8, giving way to speculation about a rift between the SBSP and the SP.

Om Prakash Rajbhar, Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2022, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, Om Prakash Rajbhar interview, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsOm Prakash Rajbhar, SBSP Chief. (File)

Uttar Pradesh’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) announced on Friday morning that it would support the ruling NDA’s presidential candidate, Droupadi Murmu, while continuing its alliance with the Samajwadi Party, which has rallied behind Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.

Speaking at a press conference, SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar said, “There has been a lot of conversation about me for the past few days… The presidential election is round the corner… We spoke to our leaders and six MLAs… I told them that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath invited me to dinner on June 8 and I attended the dinner party. The CM and Droupadi Murmuji were there, and I was told that I talk of marginalised and backward people and minorities and that Droupadi Murmuji herself said she came from the lowest place in society. In such a situation, I was asked to support her.”

“The CM also appealed for the same. I said that I am alone, I have not spoken to my MLAs and the party forum, and that I will talk to them and inform the CM. Then I got a call from honourable Home Minister Amit Shah and he asked me why I didn’t make the announcement on July 12. I told him it was delayed due to the (death of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s wife Sadhna Gupta). Then I went to Delhi and met Amit Shah. He said the same thing that Adityanathji said… I told him that I am with the SP. And that I will announce support for Murmuji on July 15,” he added.

On July 8, Rajbhar attended a dinner hosted by Adityanath in honour of Murmu in Lucknow, giving way to speculation about a rift between the SBSP and the SP.

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“On July 7, Akhileshji held a press conference and he did not feel my need. I kept waiting after that too, but I did not get a response from him,” said Rajbhar. He said the SP did not invite the SBSP to a July 7 meeting of allies to discuss the presidential polls. “RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary was called, but we were not,” he said.

However, Rajbhar said his support for Murmu in the presidential election did not mean his party’s alliance with the SP was over. “Today, I am here to talk about the presidential election only… I was willing to vote for the SP’s choice candidate. When he did not need me, then whom should I vote for? Then the CM and Union home minister spoke to me… For now, I am with the alliance (SP), and will continue to be with them till they keep me. When the time comes, we will see. We are still with the alliance,” said Rajbhar.

First published on: 15-07-2022 at 10:47:39 am
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