Speculations confirmed: SBSP to reunite with NDA

SBSP president Arvind Rajbhar confirms resolution of issues as the party rejoins NDA, signalling potential impact on electoral dynamics in Uttar Pradesh ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

| Updated: 16 July, 2023 4:13 pm IST
Union Home minister Amit Shah (centre) met SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar and Arvind Rajbhar

NEW DELHI: In a significant political development, OP Rajbhar, the president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), has announced that his party will be rejoining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

“Met Shri @oprajbhar ji in Delhi and decided to join the NDA alliance led by Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji. I welcome him to the NDA family,” Shah tweeted.

“The arrival of Rajbhar ji will strengthen the NDA in Uttar Pradesh and the efforts being made by the NDA under the leadership of Modi ji for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden will get further strength,” he added.

 

Rajbhar expressed gratitude towards Prime minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief minister Yogi Adityanath for welcoming them back into the alliance.

The SBSP had previously been in alliance with the NDA in 2017 but later separated due to certain issues. Rajbhar clarified that this time the alliance has been worked out after reaching an agreement on those specific issues, signalling a resolution to their past differences.

“We met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on July 14 and discussed various issues and decided to fight the 2024 elections together. I want to thank PM Modi, Amit Shah, CM Yogi Adityanath for taking us along,” Rajbhar said.

Speculations about the SBSP’s return to the NDA had been circulating, particularly after Rajbhar’s recent meeting with Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak at his residence in Lucknow.

While both Rajbhar and his party’s general secretary, Arun, had initially downplayed the meeting, referring to it as a “personal meeting,” it now appears to have been a crucial step in the process of rejoining the alliance.

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Key figures within the NDA, including Brajesh Pathak and Transport Minister Daya Shankar Singh, have been actively involved in facilitating discussions between the BJP and SBSP. Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had previously stated that the final decision on the alliance would be taken by the party high command.

Reports suggest that the BJP is interested in forming an alliance similar to the Nishad party arrangement by offering a Lok Sabha ticket from Ghazipur to Rajbhar’s son and considering making Om Prakash a cabinet minister in the upcoming Yogi Adityanath government.

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However, there are indications of some disagreements regarding the number of Lok Sabha seats the SBSP should be allocated. While the BJP is reportedly open to offering only one seat, the SBSP is pushing for three to four seats, highlighting their previous success in winning those seats in association with the BJP.

As political dynamics continue to evolve in Uttar Pradesh, the SBSP’s return to the NDA fold ahead of the crucial 2024 elections could have significant implications for the alliance’s electoral prospects. The reintegration of the SBSP into the NDA could help consolidate the coalition’s support base and strengthen its position in the state.

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