UP Polls: Former BJP ally extends support to Akhilesh

Uttar Pradesh Polls: Former BJP ally SBSP extends support to Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh said their alliance would become the 'nemesis' of the BJP

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Credit: PTI file photo

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav received a shot in the arm ahead of the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, when Om Prakash Rajbhar, the president of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), on Wednesday announced that an understanding had been reached between SP and SBSP to contest the polls together.

The SBSP represents the electorally influential Rajbhar community and is a former ally of the BJP.

Addressing a public meeting at Haldharpur town in Mau district in the presence of Akhilesh, Rajbhar said that the people of the state had made up their mind to 'defeat' the BJP in the polls.

"The present dispensation has failed on every front....rising prices have made it very difficult for the people to survive...no section of the society is happy with the central and the state governments.....we have joined hands to oust the BJP from power in UP," he said.

Read | Oppn kept faith imprisoned, vied to hold Iftar: UP CM

He also attacked prime minister Narendra Modi and said that the Centre was 'selling' precious assets of the country. "Modi used to say that he will not allow the country to be sold but now he himself is selling assets of the country," the SBSP chief said.

In his address, Akhilesh said their alliance would become the 'nemesis' of the BJP. "BJP is certain to lose the polls," he added.

Rajbhar, whose party enjoyed support among the 'Rajbhar' (an OBC) community, which formed around four per cent of the electorate in the state and was deciding factor on over two dozen Assembly seats, especially in the eastern UP region, said that the alliance had been forged to defeat the BJP.

Rajbhar, whose party had contested the 2017 Assembly polls in the state in alliance with the BJP, was a minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. He was however, sacked two years back after he turned a bitter critic of the saffron party following latter's refusal to accede to his demand of two Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2019 general elections.

Despite parting ways, BJP has tried strike an electoral alliance with Rajbhar in the next year's Assembly polls and several senior BJP leaders had met the SBSP chief also in this regard. Talks, however, failed allegedly after Rajbhar demanded around a dozen seats.

Watch latest videos by DH here:

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox