Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar Monday blamed voters’ disenchantment over the BJP’s choice of UP chief minister for the loss in the recent bypolls in the state.
Rajbhar claimed backward classes were unhappy that Keshav Prasad Maurya wasn’t made the chief minister after the state polls.
“The BJP contested assembly polls with Keshav Prasad Maurya (a OBC) as its face but later Yogi Adityanath was made chief minister. Backwards supported the BJP in the hope that Maurya will become CM. The result of this anger reflected in the defeat of the BJP in bypolls,” Rajbhar told PTI over the phone.
Rajbhar is a cabinet minister in the state and head of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party. The party is an ally of the BJP in the state and has four seats in the state assembly.
When asked whether Adityanath was responsible for the defeat in bypolls, Rajbhar said, “The government is responsible. The BJP should introspect about reasons of its defeat. It’s up to the BJP whom to make CM. It’s up to the party to make Yogi or Keshav as CM.”
The BJP lost both Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly seats in the recent polls when opposition parties came together to field a candidate.
A change in tone
On June 1, Rajbhar had blamed the failure to publicise the work done by the state government for the losses.
“Besides caste groupism, our failure to properly publicise our welfare work for the poor and the backward was the reason for the defeat,” Rajbhar had said.
He also blamed corruption among officials and their failure to implement welfare schemes. He had claimed it would have no effect on the next Lok Sabha election.
What other BJP MLAs had said
Two BJP MLAs on June 1 had said the state government needed to take action against “rampant corruption” and “inefficient ministers” to ensure better party performance in future elections.
In a poem on Facebook, BJP MLA from Gopamau in Hardoi, Shyam Prakash, blamed the bypoll defeats on the failures of his government.
“Pehle Gorakhpur, Phulpur aur ab Kairana, Noorpur mein BJP ki haar ka humein dukha hai (We are saddened by the loss of the party first in Gorakhpur, then Phulpur and now in Kairana and Noorpur),” he wrote.
Surendra Singh, BJP MLA from Beria constituency in Ballia district, had said that in order ensure the BJP’s victory in the next election, his party would have to replace “inefficient” ministers.