Will take call on supporting Draupadi Murmu in four days, says SP ally Om Prakash Rajbhar

Ballia (UP): SP ally and SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday said he will decide on supporting NDA presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu in the next few days, while giving mixed signals on continuing with the Akhilesh Yadav-led opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

Even as he suggested that “all is well” between the Samajwadi Party and his Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, he did not rule out joining hands with the BSP in future.

His remarks came a day after Rajbhar said he was waiting for a “divorce” from the SP’s side.

Rajbhar and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav on Friday attended a dinner hosted by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Murmu’s honour, a development showing chink in the opposition camp that is backing Yashwant Sinha for the top constitutional post.

“I had gone to meet the BJP’s presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu on her invitation. I was at a party programme in Mau on Friday when Murmu invited me. Respecting her request, I met her,” Rajbhar told reporters here.

He said Murmu sought his support for her candidature and that he will announce his decision in four days after talking to his party leaders and MLAs.

Asked about the rift with SP, Rajbhar said, “There is no rift from our side. All is well. We are part of the SP-led (opposition) alliance and will remain with it.”

He said if Yadav chooses to break the alliance and throw him out, then he will decide on the future course of action but he will not be the one to “divorce” it.

The “weak” never divorce anyone, he said.

The SBSP president, however, said he is keeping open the option of forging an alliance with the BSP or Shivpal Singh Yadav.

Asked if he could join hands with the BJP, Rajbhar said he does not have any such intention yet.

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.

Yadav did not invite Rajbhar to a meeting convened in Lucknow in support of the Opposition’s joint candidate for the presidential election Yashwant Sinha on Thursday. However, another SP ally and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary was seen with Yadav at the meeting.

Responding to a question, Rajbhar said he gave a suggestion to Yadav that he should step out of his air-conditioned room to strengthen the alliance.

Because the BSP and the Congress have been doing politics from air-conditioned rooms, they have only one and two MLAs, respectively, in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Those who will not come out of their air-conditioned rooms will meet the same fate as the BSP and the Congress, he said.

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