Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar on Thursday said he will hand over the charge of the backward class welfare department to Chief Minister Adityanath. Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state and has four MLAs in the Assembly.
The announcement came days after Rajbhar said his party would be open to joining the alliance of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Rajbhar has made several critical remarks about the BJP in recent months. In October, he had said the saffron party brings up mosques and temples whenever he speaks of governance. In November, Rajbhar said the BJP should ask its Muslim leaders to change their names before the Uttar Pradesh government renames places in the state.
Rajbhar on Thursday tweeted a statement addressed to Adityanath, expressing disappointment that people from the backward classes were being ignored by the BJP government in the state.
“As the government has not provided money for scholarships of backward class students and not implemented the recommendations of the social justice report to provide 27% OBC reservation as per the report of the social justice committee, I will be submitting my resignation letter to the chief minister today,” he tweeted.
However, Rajbhar added that he would continue to remain in charge of the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department.
On February 10, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party had announced that it would withdraw support from the BJP government if the recommendations of the social justice committee are not implemented by February 24, the Hindustan Times reported.
Rajbhar alleged that the BJP government had ignored his recommendations in appointing members to the state backward castes panel. “People from the backward classes expect a lot from me, but I have not been able to help them get their rights as the government has been continuously ignoring their welfare,” he said.
The social justice committee was set up in May last year and had recommended dividing backward castes into three categories – backward, very backward, and most backward.