Friday, June 2, 2023

Rajbhar gets Y category security amid growing proximity to BJP

The BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government accorded ‘Y’ category security to Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar, a move seen in the context of the SP ally’s growing proximity to the ruling party.
The development comes days after Rajbhar’s party broke ranks with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and voted for NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, who has defeated opposition pick Yashwant Sinha.
The move has irked the Samajwadi Party which claimed that Rajbhar has been rewarded for his recent aggressive postures against the party leadership and that the party was aware of his continued links with the BJP ever since it returned to power for the second consecutive term in the Assembly polls earlier this year.
According to a letter dated July 15 sent to the additional director general of police (security), Joint Secretary of the Home Department Vinay Kumar Singh said it has been decided to extend ‘Y’ category security to SBSP president and Zahurabad MLA Om Prakash Rajbhar.
Singh has also asked the ADGP to complete necessary formalities.
Under the ‘Y’ category security cover, a protectee is provided 11 security personnel, including two personal security officers (PSO).
When contacted, SBSP national spokesperson and Rajbhar’s son Arjun confirmed the party president being provided ‘Y’ category security. Reacting on the development, senior Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh termed the security extended to Rajbhar as the reward for his recent statements against them.
Rajbhar has been in contact with the BJP ever since the return of the Adityanath government for the second consecutive time, I P Singh said.
“All of us in the party are aware of it and in alert mode,” I P Singh said.
Senior SP leader Udaiveer Singh saw grant of the ‘Y’ grade security to Rajbhar as part of quid pro quo between the two parties.
“When he will help the government, it (government) will also help him, this is political courtesy,” Singh said referring to Rajbhar’s party voting in favour of NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu.
The SBSP has six MLAs in Uttar Pradesh assembly presently.
“If they had to have this kind of exchange, why had he been levelling so many charges against our party and leadership. Rajbhar needed security and we had wanted it for him but if the BJP government did not extend it earlier it is not the fault of the SP,” Singh, a close aide of Akhilesh Yadav, said.
Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party president Shivpal Singh, Yadav, however, said extending security to Rajbhar should not be linked to the presidential election.
The presidential election indicated Rajbhar’s growing distance with the SP-led opposition alliance and closeness to the BJP.
Rajbhar had recently been targeting SP president Akhilesh Yadav, saying he had become the chief minister only by the grace of his father and that his party had not won any election under his leadership since 2014.
“What kind of a contest can you expect from a party whose leader does not take part in the election campaign,” Rajbhar had quipped, taking an apparent dig at Akhilesh after the SP’s loss in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha byelection.
Rajbhar has been insisting that he continues to be a part of SP alliance and the “divorce”, if any, will come from the Akhilesh side.
He, however, reaffirmed that in the event of removal from the opposition alliance, he would meet BSP president Mayawati to move together in the future.
“A bright colour is formed after mixing ‘neela’ (blue) and ‘peela’ (yellow),” said Rajbhar, an influential OBC leader who holds considerable influence in the Purvanchal region.
Blue colour is associated with the BSP while yellow is the hallmark of the SBSP.
The SBSP had contested the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections held earlier this year in alliance with the SP. However, the ties between the two allies have been strained of late.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav did not invite Rajbhar to a meeting convened in Lucknow in support of Sinha early this month while another party ally and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary attended it.
Later, Rajbhar announced the SBSP would support Murmu but maintained that his six-MLA party was still part of the opposition grouping that fought the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections together.


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