NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday accorded Y category security to Samajwadi Party ally Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is the national president of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP).
Rajbhar is an MLA from Zahoorabad Constituency in the Ghazipur district of eastern Uttar Pradesh. The SBSP has six MLAs in the assembly.
Although still in alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, Rajbhar had declared support to NDA Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu and had also attended a dinner meeting hosted by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in honour of President-elect Murmu.
Earlier, Rajbhar was an NDA ally and was also a cabinet minister in the previous Yogi government. Before the 2022 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, he switched camps and joined hands with former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.
Rajbhar has considerable influence in many districts in Uttar Pradesh, especially Mau, Ghazipur and Azamgarh. Mau and Ghazipur are bastions of gangster politician Mukhtar Ansari and the BJP is desperate to penetrate the political fort of the Ansaris.
The recent victory of BJP candidate Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ in the Azamgarh by-poll has given the party a shot in the arm as the prestigious seat was considered a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party. The by-poll on the seat was necessitated after Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav resigned from the Lok Sabha to move to the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
For the past few months, Rajbhar had expressed his displeasure with Akhilesh Yadav’s style of working. His multiple attempts to meet Yadav failed.
After the defeat of the Samajwadi Party candidate in the Azamgarh by-poll, Rajbhar had blamed Akhilesh Yadav for not taking the poll seriously. Directly attacking Yadav, Rajbhar had said that Yadav had gotten used to living in ACs in Lucknow and does not want to toil hard for electoral victory.
The BJP expects that Rajbhar moving to the NDA camp will make it a formidable force against the Ansaris in Mau and Ghazipur.