BJP-SBSP trade thief' charges, rift widens

The comment was caught in a video recording and went viral on the social media.

Lucknow: The rift between the BJP and its ally, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) in Uttar Pradesh is now growing wider after the UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey said that a SBSP legislator was a “thief”.

The SBSP MLA Kailash Sonkar said on Thursday that he would file a defamation case against the BJP chief Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey while the SBSP vice president, Nityanand Pandey termed the state BJP chief as a scamster.

SBSP president and UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar said that his MLA was well within his rights to file a defamation case against the UP BJP president who should not have made such comments. The fresh round of trouble between the two parties began earlier this week when, during a foundation stone laying ceremony in Ajgara in Chandauli district , Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey told deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma that he had excluded Kailash Sonkar’s name form the foundation stone because the latter was a “chor”. Kailash Sonkar is the local MLA from Ajgara.

The comment was caught in a video recording and went viral on the social media.

Even as Dr Pandey targeted Kailash Sonkar, a group of weavers staged a protest against the MLA at the district headquarters alleging that he (Sonkar) had committed a fraud of Rs 600 crore in disbursing subsidised loans to 4,500 weavers. The UP BJP president said a high-level probe will be conducted into the alleged fraud. “They are big people and have the freedom to say what they like against a dalit like me.” Mr Sonkar said.

I have been on their radar because they think I cross-voted during the Rajya Sabha elections. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will make it clear as to who is a ‘chor’ and who is honest”, Kailash Sonkar told reporters in Varanasi.

Kailash Sonkar was one of the two SBSP MLAs who were said to have cross voted in the Rajya Sabha elections but their president and UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar did not go beyond serving them a show cause notice.

Mr Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is known to make controversial statements almost every week, had recently called the BJP MLA Surendra Singh a ‘cycle chor’. The reaction came after Surendra Singh had compared Om Prakash Rajbhar to a dog and said that the leader would go join any party which could “lure him with a bone”.

Mr Rajbhar is also said to be in touch with SP leadership and had a long meeting with Mr Shivpal Yadav in Varanasi last week.

Sources in the SBSP said that the party had no qualms about allying with another political outfit if the BJP did not give them a respectable share of seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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