A day after its seat-sharing talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), a BJP ally in Uttar Pradesh, announced candidates on 39 seats, including Varanasi, Lucknow and Gorakhpur.
SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, a state cabinet minister, claimed that he offered to resign from the government, which was not accepted by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. SBSP entered into an alliance with the BJP before the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Sources said that citing the number of seats given to another ally, Apna Dal, SBSP also sought two to three seats to contest but the BJP preferred their candidates. The BJP maintained that the alliance with Apna Dal was for Lok Sabha polls but that with the SBSP was for assembly polls. In the past, Rajbhar gave several deadlines to the BJP to sort out issues with them and had even met national president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“SP, BSP, Congress aur BJP, ek bhi ticket kisi party ne humari biradari ko nahi diya…bahut gussa hai.. vote to sabko chahiye (SP, BSP, Congress and BJP. None of the parties declared candidate from our community. There is lot of anger. Everyone wants our votes),” said Om Prakash Rajbhar, before declaring SBSP’s 39 candidates.
Rajbhar further said he has given tickets to representatives from communities, including Prajapati, Rajbhar and Kumbhar, who have not been given share anywhere.
Asked about the future of alliance of his party with the BJP, Rajbhar just said, “Our candidates are not against BJP. Every party has the right to field candidates. We were into alliance in 2017, which saw good results. Our attempt was to contest in alliance in 2019 also but they were rigid that we should contest on their symbol and that I should contest.”
Rajbhar said he went to meet CM Yogi Adityanath along with SBSP leaders who were recently appointed in different Boards and Corporations to submit their resignation but it was not accepted.
The party has fielded young candidate Sidhartha Rajbhar from Varanasi and from Lucknow, it has fielded its district president Babban Rajbhar. Abhay Patel is the candidate from Rae Bareli and Jitendra Singh will contest from Amethi. In Gorakhpur, Radhey Shyam Sainthwar is the SBSP candidate.
The party has announced candidate on six reserved constituencies, including Barabanki, Mohanlalganj, Bansgaon, Lalganj, Machalishahr and Robertsganj. Other constituencies include Azamgarh, Ghoshi, Balia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Dhaurara, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Banda, Fatehpur, Phulpur, Allahabad, Faizabad and Gonda.
BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava said, “Our party leadership has constantly been in touch with the alliance partners and has been resolving their issues.
Moreover, Om Prakash Rajbhar has said in public several times that he is with the BJP, even during a recent public meeting in Lucknow. We are hopeful that they would be with the BJP and work for our common goals.”