Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SubhaSP) leader Omprakash Rajbhar is often seen with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and is trying to defeat the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) this time. Rajbhar, who contested the elections with the BJP in 2017, says that the BJP will be reduced to only 50 seats this time. He has made big claims that the condition of the BJP is bad in Purvanchal. Omprakash Rajbhar is considered influential in this area. Apart from it, Rajbhar’s party has some influence in the Awadh region.
BJP was riding the Modi wave in the 2017 election and won 72 seats in eastern UP. On the other hand, the SP was reduced to just nine seats in this area. Rajbhars voters were also believed to be the reason why BJP won 72 seats in this area. This community was seen standing in the BJP camp. SubhaSP had contested eight seats in the last election and won four. The vote share of SubhaSP in these seats was up to 34 per cent. It is the reason why the Rajbhar community is being seen in an influential role. However, it is not that after the exit of Omprakash Rajbhar, the BJP is completely wiped out. The party has promoted Anil Rajbhar in the past months, and he is also a minister in the Yogi government.
Why is Omprakash Rajbhar angry with the BJP?
One of the key reasons for Rajbhar to quit BJP led alliance and the government was due to Yogi Government’s refusal to conduct the caste census, which was important for deciding the employment and benefits to the backward communities. Rajbhar alleges that the BJP government took away the share of backwards and Dalits in recruiting 69,000 teachers. As per Rajbhar, the Yogi government has cheated the Dalits and backward castes in job opportunities in the government.
Another reason is that SubhaSP had demanded from the BJP government that the community get separate benefits under the Other Backward Class (OBC) reservation. Rajbhar demanded that under this category, there should be a separate reservation system for Yadav, Kurmi and Rajbhar. BJP had agreed to this before the 2017 polls and then constituted the Justice Rohini Panel, which delayed the recommendations. BJP believes that it will anger the Jat, Kushwaha and Kurmi communities if this happens.
How much is the population of Rajbhar community, and why its importance has increased
Rajbhar communities account for 3% of the population in UP. However, community leaders claim that they constitute 4.5 per cent of the population. This community, which claims to be the descendant of Maharaja Suheldev Rajbhar of Shravasti, has been promoted a lot by the BJP in the last few years. In its non-Yadav OBC and non-Jatav Dalit vote strategy, BJP has played bets on this community. Omprakash Rajbhar claims to be the real leader of the community. The discussion of this farming and animal rearing community is being seen a lot in this election.
From Eastern UP to Awadh, these districts will be affected
The influence of this community is visible in Ballia, Ghazipur, Azamgarh, Basti districts of Eastern UP. The community has a sizeable population in districts like Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Gonda, Bahraich of Awadh.
Efforts to bring Rajbhar to BJP fold again and the curious case of Daya Shakar Singh
BJP claims that it wants Omprakash Rajbhar to return to its camp. The BJP’s vice-president and member of the joining committee Daya Shakar Singh is repeatedly visiting Omprakash Rajbhar’s house for the same. They have met three times, and the last meeting lasted for more than three hours.
When the meeting became public, Arun Rajbhar, son of Omprakash Rajbhar, said that Dayashankar Singh had come to confirm the SP alliance seat for himself.
Experts say that Omprakash Rajbhar repeatedly makes BJP realise that Akhilesh Yadav is giving him more than two dozen seats, and SubhaSP party is going to be a big party.
If BJP succeeds in breaking Omprakash Rajbhar, it can give a big psychological blow to the Samajwadi Party alliance and be a big morale booster for BJP in Purvanchal.
Omprakash Rajbhar has said many times that there is no question of his party going back to BJP, and those who want to drown should go to BJP. He said he would not sit peacefully until BJP was thrown out of power. A few days back in the Samajwadi Party office, Om Prakash Rajbhar had said that he was sitting next to the future Chief Minister, and when Akhilesh Yadav becomes the Chief Minister, he will sit next to him.