An ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh has accused the state government of being “just focused on temples” and not on the poor. The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party is yet to decide on whether it will vote for the BJP’s nominees in the Rajya Sabha elections on March 23, party chief Omprakash Rajbhar said.
Rajbhar, a minister in the state government, said the BJP did not consult his party before choosing its candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. His party has four legislators in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
On the same day when the BJP-led alliance at the Centre is likely to face its first no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha after its only southern ally withdrew support, Rajbhar accused the party of “not following the coalition dharma” in Uttar Pradesh as well.
“There is a lot of talk but little change on the ground,” Rajbhar told ANI. “The BJP is not following the coalition dharma. I have been expressing my concerns, but these people have gone crazy in their pride of having the support of [nearly] 325 MLAs in the Assembly.”
However, Rajbhar said his party was still in alliance with the BJP.
Ten Rajya Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh will retire this year. The BJP has the numbers to send eight candidates to the Upper House. Support from Rajbhar’s party, which has four legislators in the state Assembly, can be critical to send a ninth candidate too.
Meanwhile, Siddharth Nath Singh, a BJP minister in the state, said Rajbhar, being an ally, should not go public with his problems with BJP.