Lucknow: After contesting the Uttar Pradesh civic polls separately, BJP's alliance partner, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), is now planning to put up its candidates for 12 seats in three districts of Gujarat for the Assembly polls there.
BJP's Ally In UP Plans To Go It Alone In Guj Polls
"Our alliance with BJP is not at the national level. We also want to contest assembly polls for some seats in Gujarat with BJP. A message was sent to BJP president Amit Shah a fortnight back but we did not get any reply. Our party will contest on 12 seats in Vadodara, Vapi and Surat," SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar told PTI. He said that in these 12 constituencies, there are people from eastern UP. If Amit Shah gives us some seats we will agree otherwise we will contest, Rajbhar, a cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath government in UP, said.
"We are following the alliance in UP but in the civic polls, as there was no agreement, both of us are contesting," he said. Rajbhar had on November 6 announced contesting civic polls stating that as his party did not get a "positive response" from the BJP, he had to take the decision to go alone.
He had said that "time will tell" whether contesting the urban local body polls separately will affect his party's ties with the BJP.
Rajbhar has also said that his party may contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections separately "if the BJP persists with such an attitude". The SBSP has four MLAs in Uttar Pradesh. In the 2017 UP Assembly election, the BJP along with its allies -- Apna Dal(S) and SBSP -- bagged an overwhelming 325 seats in the 403-member Legislative Assembly. The BJP had won 312 Assembly seats (out of 384 it contested), while Apna Dal(S) won nine seats out of 11 it had contested. The SBSP grabbed four seats out of eight it contested.