Request Ignored, UP Minister Begins Constructing Road Himself, Leaves BJP Red-Faced

Rajbhar, who heads the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, has often been critical of the BJP and its policies. “If BJP decides to keep us out of a coalition in 2019, then we will be prepared to go solo on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats,” Rajbhar said.

Lucknow: In a major embarrassment for the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, senior cabinet minister and Suhaildev Bahujan Samaj Party (SBSP) president Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday began constructing a road outside his house in Fatehpur Khonda village of Varanasi.

Sporting a yellow turban, symbolic of his party, the miffed Backward Classes Welfare and Disabled People Development Minister started levelling the road and clearing the mud, accusing the state government of not heeding to his request for constructing a road outside his house.

“If a minister cannot get a road made, just think of what people would be going through,” Rajbhar’s son said over the phone.

The minister’s elder son Arvind got married on June 21 and the reception is scheduled at his native village on Sunday, which is likely to be attended by several VVIPs and dignitaries, including BJP national president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, party’s organisational secretary Sunil Bansal and other state ministers.

National General Secretary of the SBSP Arun Rajbhar said the minister and his family had brought to the attention of the district administration and senior officials the pitiable condition of the road and the impending wedding for the last six months but the “petitions had fallen on deaf ears”. “We were left with no option but to start working ourselves as there is very little time for the marriage reception,” Arun said.

Rajbhar has been critical of the Yogi Adityanath government for the past one year and has publicly attacked the state government.

He nearly voted against the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections in April, until Shah intervened and salvaged the situation.

Earlier this month, Rajbhar also met senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, triggering speculation of a possible realignment of the backward forces in the state in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.