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Political twists lead to path of friendship for SBSP and BJP

Lucknow: The recent activities of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Omprakash Rajbhar, an important partner of the SP alliance, are hogging the limelight. It is believed that due to the compulsion of electoral needs, Rajbhar and BJP can reconnect with each other by putting aside their mutual animosity.

The corridors of UP politics were abuzz with Rajbhar’s recent meeting with state transport minister Dayashankar Singh and Union minister Kaushal Kishor. Although Rajbhar cited the reason for the meeting as merely a formal discussion regarding his constituency-related issues, he did give an indication that all is not well within the SP-alliance. It is also worth noting that after the announcement of the results of the UP assembly polls, there were speculations about the meeting of the SBSP chief with the BJP’s top brass in Delhi, speculations which the former denied categorically. Political experts believe that Omprakash Rajbhar’s party may have won six seats after being part of the alliance with the SP but his party’s victory percentage decreased significantly compared to the last assembly elections. In 2017, SBSP contested eight seats in alliance with BJP and won four seats. This time out of 18 seats, only six seats could be won. Om Prakash Rajbhar’s son Arvind Rajbhar also lost the election.

Dr Amit Kushwaha, Professor of Political Science at Lko University, says that the Rajbhar community comprises about 4% of the population in UP, with a significant presence in eastern UP. Omprakash Rajbhar has a lot of influence among these voters, and it was due to their opposition that the BJP had to suffer losses in many districts of Purvanchal. Dr Kushwaha adds that friendship and enmity in politics is temporary; if both the sides come to fresh terms, then they can forget the bitterness and come together.

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