On a day, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav joined ranks with BJP’s ally-turned-rival SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar at a rally in Mau, the saffron outfit on Wednesday received “unflinching” support of at least nine smaller parties with an electoral base amongst Most Backward Castes and Dalit communities in Purvanchal region of UP. They lent support to BJP in the presence of state unit chief, Swatantra Dev Singh, at party headquarters in Lucknow. Of the nine political outfits, representative of seven parties — Bharatiya Suheldev Janata Party, Shoshit Samaj Party, Bharatiya Manav Samaj Party, Musahar Andolan Manch, Manavhit Party, Prithvi Raj Janshakti Party and Bhartiya Samta Samaj Party — were present at the BJP office. The seven parties are part of a ‘Hisseydari Morcha’ formed by Ram Dhani Bind, who has been working among the fishermen and potter community. Two other outfits — Apna Dal (Balihar) and Pragatisheel Samaj Party — also announced their support, marking BJP’s deft move to counter belligerent political adversaries ahead of assembly elections early next year.
The most significant among smaller political parties to lend support to BJP included Bharatiya Suheldev Janta Party formed by former SBSP state president Bhim Rajbhar, who split from his parent outfit earlier this year. His inclusion in BJP camp was seen as the ruling party’s stunning punch on SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, who has been projecting himself as a sole custodian of the Rajbhar community that has a sizable presence in east UP.
BJP state chief Swatantra Dev Singh said, “people were aware of the gathbandhan formed by rivals, who always professed against the basic tenets of Hinduism and nationalism”. “They will get the answer in the forthcoming elections. People are with PM Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath,” said Singh, who categorically dismissed speculation that the coming together of OP Rajbhar and Akhilesh will impact electoral prospects of BJP in polls.
The Shoshit Samaj Party is led by Babulal Rajbhar, while the Bhartiya Samta Samaj Party is led by Azamgarh-based Mahendra Prajapati. Singh claimed the two parties would together work in more than 60 districts, mainly in Poorvanchal. BJP also received support of Chandrama Vansasi-led Musahar Andolan Manch, which works amongst the most backward amongst Dalits. Likewise, Manavhit Party is led by Kishna Gopal Kashyap, while Prithviraj Janshakti Party is led by Chandan Singh Chauhan.