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U.P. Assembly polls | Rajbhar’s party seems to be dumping AIMIM

Om Prakash Rajbhar. File photo
Omar Rashid LUCKNOW 27 October 2021 05:46 IST
Updated: 27 October 2021 01:05 IST

It is eyeing on ties with SP; Owaisi’s party was part of Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha

By tying up with the Samajwadi Party, Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party seems to have distanced itself from the AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi.

 

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The AIMIM was part of the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha — a loose alliance of several smaller outfits, mainly OBC-based — led by Mr. Rajbhar. The parties had aimed to mutually benefit each other and hoped to bring one of the larger non-BJP parties to the table for negotiation ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

However, with Mr. Rajbhar set to put up a show of strength in Mau on October 27 when he is also expected to formalise an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in the presence of its president Akhilesh Yadav, who is the chief guest at the event, the SBSP and the AIMIM seem to have drifted apart.

Mr. Owaisi will not be at the rally — Vanchit, Pichda, Dalit, Alpsankhyak Bhagidhari Mahapanchayat — in Mau on the SBSP’s 19th foundation day. Mr. Rajbhar had last week said his partners in the Morcha would be present at the rally.

AIMIM Uttar Pradesh president Shaukat Ali on Tuesday said Mr. Rajbhar did not inform the party about his programme nor sent an invitation to Mr. Owaisi.

Muslim-Yadav combine

In his bid to increase outreach in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Owaisi has so far tried to dismantle the Muslim-Yadav combine that the SP heavily relies on. In his rallies, Mr. Owaisi has questioned the loyalty of the Yadav voters in the much talked-about ‘M-Y’ equation and asked Muslims, who form one-fifth of the electorate, to look for their own independent political voice beyond the traditional non-BJP parties.

Since Mr. Yadav is looking to mobilise Muslim voters on his own and would like to avoid charges of Muslim appeasement by the BJP, and given the attacks of the AIMIM against his party, the current scenario between him and Mr. Owaisi does not appear to be amicable.

By cementing ties with the SBSP, Mr. Yadav hopes to strengthen his outreach among the numerically significant non-Yadav OBC communities.

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