UP Minister sacked from Yogi cabinet for anti-BJP comments

UP Minister sacked from Yogi cabinet for anti-BJP comments
Om Prakash Rajbhar and Yogi Adityanath.
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Lucknow: Governor Ram Naik on Monday dismissed Uttar Pradesh Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar from his ministerial position on the recommendation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Five other leaders of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), who were holding ministerial ranks in commissions, have also been removed with immediate effect.

Talking to reporters immediately after his dismissal, Rajbhar said that he welcomed the decision.

"I welcome the decision but I wish that Yogi Adityanath had shown the same haste in dealing with issues related to my demand for implementing prohibition in the state, granting scholarships to poor children and other such issues," he said.

He said that he would now work towards exposing the BJP.

"I will continue to consolidate my community and tell them how the BJP has cheated the OBCs and Dalits. The BJP never addressed issues raised by me and kept me waiting till the elections were over.

"Surely Yogi Adityanath could have dismissed me even during elections but they did not want to suffer OBC backlash by doing so. However, this is not the end of elections -- there will be more elections in the future," he stated.

Rajbhar had claimed that he had sent his resignation to the Chief Minister on April 13 but BJP sources claim that the resignation was "nowhere to be found".

"If he had to resign, he should have sent his resignation to the Governor," said Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma.

Though Rajbhar claimed to have resigned from the Yogi government last month, he continued to enjoy the perks, including bungalow, car and staff, that were given to the cabinet minister.

Rajbhar had used unparliamentary language for the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders during the campaign and had even campaigned for opposition candidates.

Rajbhar has often been making controversial statements against the saffron party, the latest being during the Lok Sabha election campaign when he said that BJP members should be "thrashed" with shoes.

Rajbhar had also fielded party candidates from several constituencies inUttar Pradesh and supported Congress and SP-BSP alliance candidates on some seats in Lok Sabha polls.

The SBSP is a BJP ally in UP and had won four seats in the 2017 UP Assembly elections.

According to sources, the BJP is now ready to get rid of Om Prakash Rajbhar and would now promote its own Minister of State Anil Rajbhar, a legislator from Sakaldiha Assembly segment in Chandauli district.

"We can win over the Rajbhar community through Anil Rajbhar. There are three years to go for the Assembly elections," said a BJP leader.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI.)

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