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Posted at: May 20, 2019, 10:40 AM; last updated: May 20, 2019, 1:56 PM (IST)

UP governor dismisses minister Rajbhar on Yogi’s recommendation

UP governor dismisses minister Rajbhar on Yogi’s recommendation
Yogi Adityanath. PTI file

Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service
Lucknow, May 20

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Monday relieved cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar from his ministerial responsibility. He was heading the Department of Backward Classes Welfare and the Department of Disabled People Development.

The decision to remove the BJP alliance partner and head of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) was taken on the recommendation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Five other leaders of the SBSP holding ministerial ranks in commissions, including the son of Rajbhar, have also been removed with immediate effect.

Talking to reporters, Rajbhar welcomed the decision to dismiss him. “I welcome the decision but I had just hoped that Adityanath should have shown the same quickness in dealing with issues that I had raised as a minister, including implementation of prohibition in the state, granting scholarships to poor children and other such issues,” he said.

Challenging the BJP, Rajbhar said that from now onwards his agenda would be to expose the BJP. “I will continue to consolidate my community and explain to them the manner in which the BJP has cheated the OBCs and Dalits,” he said.

He said the BJP never addressed issues raised by him and kept him waiting till the conclusion of the Lok Sabha election.

“Clearly, Yogi Adityanath could have dismissed me even during elections when I had resigned on April 13. But he did not want to take risk of an OBC backlash. However, this is not the end of elections–there will be more elections in the future,” Rajbhar said. 

Rajbhar represents a backward community which approximately constitutes 20 per cent of the population of Purvanchal, the region which cast its vote on Sunday.

Rajbhar had not only fielded his independent candidates but openly defied the BJP in the final phases of the election strategically siding with either the Congress or the ‘mahagathbandhan’ on a number of seats to trouble the BJP.

The SBSP has four MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha.

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