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I have played a hand that will fix everything, says Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, describing his alliance with the Samajwadi Party for Uttar Pradesh elections 2022. In an interview to News18, Rajbhar expresses confidence that the elections will return SP chief Akhilesh Yadav as the CM, dethroning Yogi Adityanath. A former minister in the ruling BJP government, Rajbhar claims that his ex-ally is divided into three lobbies, all pulling in different directions.

Edited excerpts:

You met mafia-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari in Banda jail recently…

At the moment, there is selective action on criminals in this country which is decided by their caste and religion. The BJP government is targeting Muslims and Brahmins along with Backwards and Dalits. I have seen many big mafia members who are in jail and this government is feeding them sweets. I have known Mukhtar Ansari for long. I had met Mukhtar Ansari seven times in Banda Jail when I was a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government. When he (Ansari) was in Ropan (Punjab), I met him eight times. The BJP didn’t have any problem then as I was with them.

Anyone with the BJP is not a criminal no matter what he does. Sanjay Nishad recently stated that Lord Ram was not the son of Raja Dasharath. Does the BJP have the guts to take any action against him? Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma had once stated that Sita maata was a test tube baby. Did the BJP take any action against him? In the BJP, big crime is rewarded with bigger prize. The BJP doesn’t know that even when I was with them, around 12,000 Muslims voted for me. Had they not voted for me, I would not have won.

How strong do you think the SBSP has become in Purvanchal after the alliance with the Samajwadi Party?

The SP and SBSP held a small programme in Mau after which the BJP went on the back foot in the entire state. After that programme, Amit Shah had to come to UP. Yogi ji went to Azamgarh and said that on the request of Amit Shah, the state university will be named after Raja Suheldev. These are ‘Jumla Party’ people.

The report of the social justice committee has not been implemented. Amit Shah came to Lucknow twice and held a panchayat (meeting) with Yogi and me. The report was prepared, and even after two-and-a-half years, Yogi did not accept Amit Shah’s suggestion. Why will Yogi listen to Amit Shah now? The renaming of Azamgarh state university after Raja Suheldev is just another jumla (gimmick) like the promise of Rs 15 lakh they had made for votes.

What are your views on the BJP’s strategy to have tea with 100 Dalits and their families?

When the BJP wants votes, they wash the feet of Dalits and then drink that water. But when the daughter of a Dalit is raped, the dead body is burnt at midnight and the criminals get shielded by the BJP. The BJP’s deeds are like ‘gale mein maala, vicharon pe taala’.

Who do you think is responsible for not implementing the social justice committee report?

I hold both the BJP and Yogi Adityanath responsible for it. There are three lobbies in the BJP at the moment. The first lobby is that of Yogi and the RSS, the second consists of Amit Shah’s team and Keshav Maurya, while the third lobby is that of Brahmins. There have been problems between Yogi and Keshav Maurya, after which the Sangh (RSS) people intervened. However, the situation worsened. Out of the three lobbies, one is working to defeat Yogi, another is working for the BJP’s win, while the third is working to make a Brahmin the state’s CM.

Why did you choose the SP as an ally for Uttar Pradesh elections 2022?

I am 100% sure that Akhilesh ji will become the next CM of the state. We allied with the SP as it is the only party in a position to fight the BJP. The Congress and the BSP are not. There is a wave in favour of the SP and people want change. People from our party and other allies suggested us to ally with the Samajwadi Party. Alliances so far had been struck by political leaders, but this time an alliance has been formed based on people’s demand.

What would the fate of Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha be now?

There are many people the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, including Prem Chandra Prajapati, Babu Rampal, Ramsagar Bind, Anil Chauhan, Satish Banjara and Prem Chand Kashyap. Our next big meeting will be held on November 27 at Jhawar Ka Maidan in Bharawan block of Sandila Assembly of Hardoi district, Lucknow zone. We are expecting a crowd of at least 5 lakh people. Our entire morcha will be there along with Akhilesh Yadav and me.

How has Uttar Pradesh politics changed with the coming together of the SBSP and the SP?

Rajbhar aisa dao lagaya hai ki sab sahi ho jayega (Rajbhar has played a hand that will fix everything). We changed the politics of Uttar Pradesh. There is a news channel which was giving 270 seats to the BJP when our alliance was yet to be announced. After the alliance was finalized, the same channel started giving 230 seats to the BJP. After the formal announcement of our alliance, the channel gave just 212 seats to the BJP.

Almost six months are left for the elections and if they keep reducing 15 seats every month, don’t know where the BJP will vanish to. The people of the state are now seeking change. They are fed up with inflation, corruption, high electricity bills and gunda raj of the BJP government. People also want caste-based census and now they are adamant on changing this government.

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