The Samajwadi Party and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party joined hands on Wednesday to contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections to be held next year.

Both parties announced the decision on Twitter.

“Samajwadi Party and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party will fight the battle of the deprived, the oppressed, the backward, the Dalits, women, farmers, youth, every weaker section,” the Samajwadi Party tweeted.

Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar said that the days of the Bharatiya Janata Party government, which betrayed Dalits and backward classes along with other sections, are limited.

Rajbhar also shared a video clip of him meeting Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Rajbhar’s party had won four seats in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and was an ally of the BJP. However, he had a fallout with the saffron party on seat allocation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He had alleged that the BJP was misusing his party’s name and flag for election campaigning in the state.

Rajbhar, who was the backward class welfare and divyangjan empowerment minister in the Adityanath-led government, was sacked from the state Cabinet in May 2019. However, Rajbhar claimed that he had already tendered his resignation a month earlier and it was not accepted.

The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party support base mostly comprises backward castes, which account for over 20% of the population in eastern Uttar Pradesh, according to The Indian Express. The Rajbhar community forms 3% of the state population and has presence in nearly 125 Assembly seats.

Rajbhar is also the head of Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, a front of over 10 regional political outfits.

On Wednesday, Rajbhar said that the parties will hold a discussion on seat sharing after a conclave on October 27.

“As the SBSP is leading the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, other parties of the front will also be part of the alliance with the SP,” said Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party principal general secretary Arvind Rajbhar.

After the meeting with Yadav, Rajbhar told reporters he discussed matter related to caste census, electricity and free medical facilities with the Samajwadi Party chief. Rajbhar also said that the two leaders also discussed how the BJP was using politics of hate by raising matters on Hindu-Muslim unity and India-Pakistan.

He said the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha had also approached the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress for an alliance, reported The Times of India.

“Our demands include caste-based census, dedicated policies for empowerment of the poor and deprived from all religions and castes, and free power supply for domestic use,” he said. “Samajwadi Party national president came forward and accepted our demands as legitimate.”

In June, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had said that her party will contest the 2022 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh alone.