Om Prakash Rajbhar of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party has given the Bharatiya Janata Party 24 hours to decide on the number of seats his party will contest as part of the alliance in the Lok Sabha polls, News18 reported on Monday. Rajbhar is a minister in the Cabinet of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, and has often been critical of the ruling party.
Rajbhar said he will leave the alliance on Wednesday if the BJP does not announce the seat-sharing plan by Tuesday, Hindustan reported.
“We are fighting for our right,” Rajbhar was quoted as saying. “We were called for a meeting with [BJP President] Amit Shah along with the Apna Dal and our demands were asked. Seat-sharing was decided for the Apna Dal, but we are still being kept in the dark. I have given 24 hours to the BJP to take a decision on our seats or else we will go our way.”
Rajbhar’s party has demanded a list of five seats – Chandauli, Ghosi, Ambedkarnagar, Jaunpur and either Machlishehar or Lalganj. “They [BJP] finalised alliances in Maharashtra, Goa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, then why are we kept waiting,” he asked.
He said “all options are open” and did not rule out allying with the Congress. “The BJP wants us to make slaves but we will not be slaves,” the Dainik Bhaskar quoted him as saying.
In February, Rajbhar had written to Adityanath offering to resign from the backward class welfare department and had expressed disappointment that his recommendations on appointment of state backward castes panel members were “ignored”. Rajbhar later said Adityanath did not accept the offer and had assured him that he will look into the matter.
Rajbhar said his party may contest all 80 seats alone in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections if the BJP excludes the party.