BJP ally OP Rajbhar surrenders ministry, takes a shot at Yogi Adityanath
Rajbhar said he would hand over the charge of the backward class welfare department to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Rajbhar said he would, however, continue to be in charge of the empowerment of persons with disabilities department.Updated: Feb 15, 2019 07:48 IST
Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar said on Thursday he will hand over the charge of the backward class welfare department to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, days after threatening to leave the alliance with the BJP in the state.
Om Prakash Rajbhar, general secretary of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), has issued multiple threats of parting ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party in the past.
The party had said on February 10 that it will go separate ways if the recommendations of the social justice committee are not implemented by February 24. Rajbhar had also said that his party can go with the anti-BJP alliance of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
And before that on February 6, SBSP said it was “open” to going with SP-BSP alliance in the general election that must be held by May this year. In the last assembly elections in the state in 2017, the BJP had won 312 out of 403 seats, and the SBSP four seats. Another ally of the coalition, Apna Dal (Sonelal), had won nine seats.
Om Prakash Rajbhar tweeted his resignation letter to Yogi Adityanath expressing disappointment that the people from the backward classes were being ignored and discriminated upon by the BJP government in the state.
“People of the backward classes are angry as the government has not given the scholarships to the students of the community, over the lack of fee reimbursement and non-implementation of the 27% reservation promised according to the recommendation of the social justice committee,” he said in the letter to Yogi Adityanath.
Rajbhar also took a swipe at CM Adityanath. “When a minister cannot have a say in selection of a member and all the work is to be done by the chief minister, then what is the point of the department being handled by me,” he said.
Rajbhar also said his recommendations in the appointment of state backward castes panel members have been “ignored”. “People from the backward classes expect a lot from me but I have not been able to help them get their rights as the government has been continuously ignoring their welfare,” he added.
He, however, said he would continue to be in charge of the empowerment of persons with disabilities department.
The committee, which was constituted in May last year, had in its recommendations to the state government, favoured division of backward castes in three categories — ‘pichda’ (backward), ‘ati picchda’ (very backward) and ‘sarvadhik picchda’ (most backward).
Backward classes account for about 44% of the electorate in caste-riddled Uttar Pradesh and play a crucial role in making or marring political prospects of any party. The recommendation of the committee to classify various OBC and Dalit sub-castes into three broad categories and provide quota within quota to them is likely to spice up the political scene ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election in the state.