Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday sacked Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar from his Cabinet(PTI)
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday sacked Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar from his Cabinet(PTI)

Rajbhar, his nominees sacked from government posts

Adityanath also removed all members appointed to various boards in Uttar Pradesh on Rajbhar’s recommendation.
By Manish Chandra Pandey | Lucknow, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAY 20, 2019 11:45 PM IST

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday sacked Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar from his Cabinet — two days after a case was filed against him for allegedly threatening and abusing Bharatiya Janata Party workers and a day after he predicted the state’s ruling party would fare poorly in the Lok Sabha elections.

Adityanath also removed all members appointed to various boards in Uttar Pradesh on Rajbhar’s recommendation.

Rajbhar has considerable clout in eastern Uttar Pradesh. He has been upset over the denial of seats of his choice, and fielded 39 candidates in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh phases of the Lok Sabha elections.

“Om Prakash Rajbhar has been relieved of his responsibilities as a minister for backward classes welfare and disabled development,” said a statement from the state’s Raj Bhawan. The departments that Rajbhar headed have been given to BJP MLA and minister of state Anil Rajbhar, who campaigned extensively in eastern UP once the SBSP chief had turned rebel.

Reacting to the dismissal, Rajbhar told HT: “Had the BJP told us two months back, we would have made our choices. They ditched me and my people. Where will they go now?” With the next Assembly polls three years away, Rajbhar said he would sit down to chart his future course of action.

The BJP’s OBC face in the state, Keshav Prasad Maurya, hit back. “He [Rajbhar] is no leader of backwards. He is just a leader of his family. It was because of BJP that he became a MLA.”

Ahead of the 2017 UP polls, BJP chief Amit Shah had inked a pact with SBSP to woo Rajbhar community. The BJP till then didn’t have any Rajbhar leadership.

“BJP is trying to raise its own Rajbhar leadership. In Anil Rajbhar, they have discovered a young, educated leader but his influence is yet to be assessed,” said Athar Siddiqui from Centre for Objective Research and Development.

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