After SBSP chief OP Rajbhar, Dalit BJP MP targets Yogi government | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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After SBSP chief OP Rajbhar, Dalit BJP MP targets Yogi government

The development comes at a time when the BJP is gearing up to counter the growing Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party bonhomie in Uttar Pradesh

lucknow Updated: Mar 28, 2018 22:22 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
BJP MP from Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule has planned a rally in Lucknow on April 1 in which she admitted she would also criticise policies of the BJP governments both in UP and the centre.
BJP MP from Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule has planned a rally in Lucknow on April 1 in which she admitted she would also criticise policies of the BJP governments both in UP and the centre.(HT File Photo)

After drawing criticism from its minister and SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar, the Yogi Adityanath government is now under attack from BJP MP from Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule.

Though the BJP had been dealing with Rajbhar’s tirade for quite some time, Phule’s stance has caught the party unawares.

Both the minister and the party MP are planning to hold separate rallies in April.

The development comes at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up to counter the growing Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party bonhomie in Uttar Pradesh.

Rajbhar has claimed that the backwards in the state are being neglected in the present regime. He has been blowing hot and cold against the Adityanath government of late.

Rajbhar is planning to hold a rally in Deoria on April 10, the day on which BJP chief Amit Shah is expected to be in Lucknow.

Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) in an ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

Phule has also planned a rally in the state capital on April 1 in which she admitted she would also criticise policies of the BJP governments both in UP and the centre.

She added that though she wasn’t in touch with any political party, she wasn’t averse to seeking support of anyone on the issues flagged by her.

“I am open to seeking support on the issue from anyone though I am not in touch with any political party per se,” she said. Political observers said the issue could provide fresh fodder to the opposition, chiefly the SP and the BSP, to target the Adityanath government.

“An OBC minister and a woman Dalit MP questioning the BJP government isn’t good news for the party just as before it plans to roll out a rural connect campaign targeting OBC and Dalit villages,” said Irshad Ilmi, the editor of an Urdu daily.

Phule belongs to the Pasi caste that is considered the second most numerically significant Dalit sub-caste after the dominant Jatav, the subcaste to which BSP chief Mayawati belongs. She didn’t name anyone in the party but said that some party leaders were conspiring to abolish quota.

At present there is 27% reservation for OBCs of which Yadavs, the OBC subcaste considered loyal to the Samajwadi Party, are the most dominant. There is 22.5% reservation for Scheduled Castes or Dalits. Jatavs, considered staunch backers of the BSP, are the most dominant of them all.

The BJP hasn’t reacted to the party MP’s surprising attack on her own party government, but some said her move could also be “pressure tactic” to ensure that the party again fields her in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP is in the process of reviewing performance of party MPs and many of them could be replaced or fielded from different constituencies on the basis of an internal assessment being carried out by the party, BJP leaders admit.

He also demanded quota within quota, an issue that chief minister Yogi Adityanath flagged in the state assembly a few days back. “It was due to our efforts,” Rajbhar said later. He also said “poor” were feeling left out in the present government as the police and officers weren’t listening to them.

Rajbhar said he planned to raise the issues flagged by him before Shah. Interestingly, two of the four SBSP lawmakers had cross voted against the BJP in the Friday’s Rajya Sabha vote but Rajbhar chose to play down the issue.

“We have sought an explanation from our MLAs and only after I receive it would I be able to say anything,” he said.

Shah had inked a pact with the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party in the 2017 UP polls. The alliance helped BJP connect with OBCs in eastern UP where Rajbhars are spread evenly in several assembly segments.