Rajbhar, his nominees sacked from government posts
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.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- A statement form the Rajasthan Chief Minister's Office cited rising Covid-19 cases in the neighbouring states for the decision to insist on negative Covid reports for visitors.
- The woman who suspected foul play, checked the accused's Facebook account and found out that he was regularly chatting with another woman, who turned out to be his wife.
- It was the second Maoist attack in the last two days in Chhattisgarh.
- A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) asked the petitioner's lawyer to compile a list of similarly placed officers of the Indian armed forces still languishing in Pakistani jails.
- The order was issued after hearing an injunction suit filed by Ramesh Jarkiholi’s lawyers on Wednesday. The suit had named 68 media houses, channels and others.
- High Commissioner Alex Ellis also said more debates on the farmers' protest should be expected around the world as India takes on a greater role on the global stage