OP Rajbhar, ex-ally of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, returns to BJP-led NDA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

OP Rajbhar, ex-ally of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, returns to BJP-led NDA

Jul 16, 2023 11:38 AM IST

OP Rajbhar's Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party has returned to the NDA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

The Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party or SBSP has returned to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Union home minister Amit Shah tweeted after their meeting on Sunday.

Union home minister Amit Shah with OP Rajbhar (right)
Union home minister Amit Shah with OP Rajbhar (right)

“Met Shri @oprajbhar ji in Delhi and decided to join the NDA alliance led by Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji. I welcome him to the NDA family,” Shah tweeted.

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“The arrival of Rajbhar ji will strengthen the NDA in Uttar Pradesh and the efforts being made by the NDA under the leadership of Modi ji for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden will get further strength,” he added.

On his decision of joining the NDA, Rajbhar said, "We met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on July 14 and discussed various issues and decided to fight the 2024 elections together. I want to thank PM Modi, Amit Shah, CM Yogi Adityanath for taking us along."

SBSP president Arvind Rajbhar said the party was in alliance with the NDA in 2017, but it separated owing to some issues. "This time, the alliance has been worked out after agreement on those issues," he said.

Speculation was rife that the SBSP could join the NDA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls after Rajbhar, a former minister, had met Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak at the latter’s Raj Bhavan Colony residence in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Both Rajbhar and his party’s general secretary Arun had played down the meeting describing it as a “personal meeting”.

Pathak has been seen on several occasions with Rajbhar. Apart from Pathak, Yogi Adityanath's transport minister Daya Shankar Singh too had been active in attempting a pact between the BJP and the SBSP.

Earlier deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had said the “party high command” would take a call on the tie-up.

The buzz is that the BJP is interested in a Nishad party type arrangement with Rajbhar by offering a Lok Sabha ticket from Ghazipur to Rajbhar’s son and making Om Prakash a cabinet minister in Yogi 2.0.

Some others suggested that while the BJP was only willing to leave a solitary seat to the SBSP, the latter was pushing for about three to four Lok Sabha seats by citing SBSP’s ability to win the seats in association with the BJP.

(With inputs from Bureau in Lucknow)

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