It’s not 80-20 but rather 85-15 in UP and the majority is with us, Rajbhar takes Yogi head on

As the vote for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections draws closer, the political battle has intensified in the state. Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar has accused the BJP of “harboring” people like Ajay Mishra Teni, accused of killing four farmers during the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Rajbhar is fighting the polls in alliance with the Samajwadi party led by Akhilesh Yadav. In an exclusive interview with News18, Rajbhar, a former cabinet minister led by Yogi Adityanath, also alleged that the BJP had no respect for the backward and the Dalits, and had committed atrocities against students demanding jobs amid rising unemployment. Excerpts from the interview:

What is the SBSP’s agenda and level of preparation ahead of assembly elections?

We started our political outreach by organizing a joint rally last year, announcing our alliance with the SP. After this gathering, we reached 40,000 to 60,000 people daily. We also held a rath yatra at the time and even held rallies addressed by the great leaders of the alliance. We have physically contacted people and are informing them of our plans after the formation of the government. For example, no caste-based census has been taken since 1931. Until they do, many will be disenfranchised.

Our second pledge is to give 300 units of free electricity to every home. The third promise is to tackle the problem of stray animals, which is one of the biggest problems facing our farmers. We will also provide free and equal education and the restoration of old pensions for state government employees. We will ensure that there is no hate politics.

Why do you think people will vote for your alliance?

The BJP has fooled people, inflation is at an all time high, the poor and backward cannot afford LPG, while fuel prices are also out of reach for the common man. The ruling party has been unable to provide scholarships for students from backward castes and the Dalit community. The BJP was unable to provide jobs for the youths and deprived the backward students of the reserve. When students ask for a reservation, they are sprayed with police batons. The questionnaire of recruitment examinations of 16 departments has been leaked, today 34 lakh positions are vacant in the state. In Prayagraj, when students raised their voices, they were mercilessly beaten. Young people want a change and see Akhilesh Yadav as their next chief minister.

But CM Yogi Adityanath says this election is 80% to 20%?

He says it badly; it is rather 85% against 15% because the Yogi government has taken away the rights of 85% of the population. In reality, 85% are with us while there is also a division in the remaining 15%.

As an election approaches, the BJP starts talking about enmity between Hindus and Muslims and sows the seeds of hatred just for its own interests. When the question arises of giving people their due, the BJP shuns the question and tries to deflect everyone with their controversial statements.

But the BJP claimed that the retrogrades received maximum respect in their government. Is this statement true?

Chief Minister Adityanath and people belonging to his caste sit on chairs, but a CM MLA from a backward caste is given a stool to sit on. That’s the kind of respect they give backsliders. Yogi Adityanath sits on a sofa, but UP BJP leader Swatantra Dev Singh is forced to sit on a chair. There are 1,700 police stations, but the BJP is silent on equality. Similarly, in other places too, when people claim their rights, they are labeled as anti-nationals. This is why, on the contrary, the Dalits and the minorities decided with part of the general category to vote for our alliance.

What do you have to say about Home Minister Amit Shah’s outreach to BJP’s Jat in Western Uttar Pradesh?

Our Home Secretary didn’t have time to visit the farmers when over 700 of them died in the farmers’ protest. The farmers had been protesting for almost a year, having braved the cold, the rain and the intense heat. But, the BJP ignored them. They used force to prevent farmers from participating in the protest against the Three Black Farm Bills. Now, when the elections are here, the BJP goes door to door distributing leaflets. Why didn’t Amit Shah fire Ajay Mishra Teni who was involved in mowing down four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri? If the vehicle used in the incident had belonged to a backward, Dalit or Muslim, the owner would have been in jail today. Ideally, Ajay Mishra Teni should have been in jail, but the BJP is instead offering him political shelter.

But Amit Shah says RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary is in an alliance with the wrong party. Do you have doubts about your alliance with the RLD?

The language of the BJP clearly shows that they are frustrated now. In Delhi too, they handed out leaflets door to door and all they got was three seats. A similar frustration is seen today in Uttar Pradesh. In western Uttar Pradesh, MPs and candidates are beaten in front of their leaders and ministers. People are with Jayant Chaudhary in western Uttar Pradesh. It was fair of Jayant ji to ask Amit Shah where he was when 700 farmers were martyred. Amit Shah should go talk to their families first, then talk to our people. Today, Jayant ji, Akhilesh ji and other alliance leaders stand firmly together and will not be deceived. Sugarcane farmers are still waiting for their due, a promise made by the BJP in a high court in western UP that remains unfulfilled. This is similar to their pledges of 15 lakh, two crore jobs, bringing inflation down. BJP is going to be wiped out of Uttar Pradesh.

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