Two days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sacked him from the Ministry, Om Prakash Rajbhar on Wednesday put up a brave face, saying his party’s legislators stood united with him.
Rubbishing reports that three Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) MLAs were planning to shift to the BJP, Mr. Rajbhar dismissed them as “rumours”. He said Triveni Ram, Ramanand Baudh and Kailash Nath Sonkar were standing “like a rock” with the party.
“We are comrades of a common struggle. The BJP can try all it wants but its schemes won’t succeed,” Mr. Rajbhar tweeted.
Mr. Baudh came out in the support of his leader. Mr. Rajbhar is a “great man” who fights for the rights of Dalits, backwards and the poor, he said.
“We reject slavery. BJP wanted us to be slaves. We are standing with the SBSP with full force. I will never leave the party,” he said.
Mr. Adityanath sacked Mr. Rajbhar for his open rebellion against the BJP during the Lok Sabha election, with the SBSP not only fielding more than 40 candidates to hurt the BJP but also openly campaigning for candidates of the Opposition Congress and SP-BSP alliance.
Mr. Rajbhar has regularly targeted the BJP for not implementing the recommendations of a social justice committee calling for sub-categorisation of the OBC quota that would benefit the most-backward castes including his own, Rajbhars.
Mr. Rajbhar had been on the warpath against the BJP after it denied him ticket on his own symbol. The BJP wanted him to contest from the Ghosi seat in Purvanchal on its symbol.