Bhagidari Andolan Manch announces 41 contenders

The Bhagidari Andolan Manch claims to be a frontal organisation of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and started by SBSP's national president Om Prakash Rajbhar (in pic).

EVEN AS the BJP and its ally in Uttar Pradesh, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), are yet to settle the issue of seat-sharing in the Lok Sabha polls, Bhagidari Andolan Manch, an organisation, which claims to be a frontal organisation of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and started by SBSP's national president Om Prakash Rajbhar, Tuesday announced a list of 41 candidates who will contest the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The Manch's national chief general secretary, Mahesh Chandra Prajapati, who also claims to be the Allahabad district president of the SBSP, said the manch would contest from all 80 Lok Sabha seats and a list of the remaining candidates would be announced soon. The state government recently appointed Prajapati member in Backward Class Commission.

However, SBSP general secretary and Om Prakash Rajbhar's son, Arun Rajbhar, denied any affiliation of his party with the Manch or it being a frontal organisation. He, however, clarified that the Manch has been with SBSP in the past as both fight for the most backward classes and to give them proper representation.

"The Manch was founded by the most backward class people with a hope that they would be given respect and representation by the BJP. But, this did not happen and the Manch has taken a separate path. The manch does not have any understanding with us and they were just with us so that they can ask for their rights from BJP with our support. Now, they want to take on BJP and as we are with the BJP, that makes them our political opponent. We have nothing to do with them," Arun Rajbhar claimed.

He further claimed that they trusted SBSP with getting their rights from the BJP, but when BJP did not do anything for us then how would they do anything for the others. Till the end, we tried that BJP provide these people their rightful representation but because that did not happen, they are doing this, he added.

The invitation for the press conference held for declaring the list of candidates Tuesday and a press release in this regard issued by the Manch clearly claimed it was a frontal organisation of the SBSP.

When asked if they would initiate any legal action against the manch for using name of SBSP, Arun Rajbhar said that they do not see any need to do so.

"The Manch was formed in October 2017 and Om Prakash Rajbhar is our patron. We fought for two years on the matter of representation but nothing happened. Om Prakash Rajbhar ji even sent a recommendation to make manch national president Prem Chandra Prajapati the chairman of Backward Class Commission but it was not done. Only one person from the Manch, Mahesh Chandra Parajapati, was appointed the member of Backward Class Commission – Finance and Development Corporation," said the Manch's national spokesperson Ashwini Prajapati.

Talking to The Indian Express, Mahesh Prajapati claimed, "The Manch was formed by SBSP Om Prakash Rajbhar and they are working on his directives."

Despite attempts to contact him, Om Prakash Rajbhar was unavailable for comment.