Om Prakash Rajbhar removed from Yogi Adityanath Cabinet in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday recommended Governor Ram Naik to sack Om Prakash Rajbhar from his Cabinet with “immediate effect.” Mr. Rajbhar holds the Backward Classes portfolio in the Yogi Adityanath government.
This came a day after Mr. Rajbhar, an ally of the BJP who has turned rebel, predicted the party would fare poorly in UP. Mr. Rajbhar, on May 19, the last voting day, had predicted that the SP-BSP alliance would win a “large number” of seats in the seats and the BJP would suffer heavy losses, also because of his rebellion.
Mr. Rajbhar who has been on a warpath against the BJP after it denied him a ticket on his own symbol, said the BJP was “responsible” for its own losses as it did not take along its ally. Mr. Rajbhar is the president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party.
He suggested that the BJP would lose primarily due to his rebellion. “By not giving us one seat the BJP has damaged itself on 50,” said Mr. Rajbhar, who had been demanding the Ghosi seat for himself.
The BJP, however, wanted him to contest on its symbol. His party fielded over 40 candidates in the election, most of them from the OBC community including his own caste Rajbhars, and even supported the Congress on some seats.
Mr. Rajbhar had decided to go solo after months of acrimony with the BJP largely over his demand of sub-categorisation of the OBC quota. He said he would continue to build his party with “full force” for the 2022 Assembly elections.
Governor accepts recommendation
Governor Ram Naik has accepted the recommendation and relieved Mr. Rajbhar of his post as Backward Class Welfare Minister. So, a day after voting for the last phase, Mr. Rajbhar is sacked from the government.
The action against Mr. Rajbhar also comes after he was caught on camera at a public meeting in Ghazipur days before voting hurling abuses at the BJP and asking his workers to thrash the BJP workers if they attempt to spread any misinformation about his party.
A BJP worker then filed a police complaint against Mr. Rajbhar, following which an FIR was lodged. The Yogi Adityanath government is also expected to sack his other colleagues as well who had got plum posts in the State government just before polls when the BJP had attempted to appease its disgruntled ally.
Welcome decision to sack me, says Om Prakash Rajbhar
A disgruntled Om Prakash Rajbhar on Monday welcomed the decision by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to sack him as an Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister. Asked about the possibility of going with the BSP-SP-RLD alliance, Mr. Rajbhar said he would tell about it later. “We welcome the decision (to sack me). The decision taken by the chief minister was a delayed one,” Mr. Rajbhar said. “Had the decision been taken around 20 days ago, it would have been much better.” “By taking the decision, he (Adityanath) has proved he does not endorse the war, which has been waged by Om Prakash Rajbhar,” Mr. Rajbhar, who heads the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), told reporters in Lucknow.
The comments came hours after Mr. Adityanath recommended to the Governor immediate sacking of Mr. Rajbhar for his outbursts against the BJP.
Mr. Rajbhar expressed his resentment towards the BJP, which did not ally with the SBSP in the state. “I was only demanding one seat in the Lok Sabha election. We are a party. And if we do not contest, then what message will we give to our party workers and people?” he asked.
Asked what would be his future strategy, Mr. Rajbhar said: “I was born alone, I will walk alone. We will take our views to the people and spread awareness among the backward castes about their rights.”
Mr. Rajbhar alleged that Mr. Adityanath did not have time to implement the recommendations of the social justice committee. “If Om Prakash Rajbhar speaks about improvement in primary education to the children poor households, then it is bad,” he said. Mr. Rajbhar pointed out to the liquor ban in Gujarat and Bihar, claiming that if he talked about implementing the prohibition in the State, Mr. Adiyanath would not endorse it.
–LUCKNOW, MAY 20, 2019