Samajwadi Party intimidates Muslims for votes: Rajbhar

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Ballia: Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar on Thursday targeted his alliance partner Samajwadi Party over its treatment of Muslims, indicating widening of differences between the two allies.

“The Samajwadi Party (SP) gets votes of Muslims by intimidating them but when the time comes to give the Muslim community their rights, the party turns its back on them,” Rajbhar claimed.

Referring to the police recruitment during the Samajwadi Party regime from 2012-17, Rajbhar told PTI that the Muslim community should have got 20 per cent of the posts according to their demographic share.

“SP leaders will have to clarify what percentage of Muslim youths got employment in the police recruitment then,” the SBSP chief said.

Attacking the party’s previous government, Rajbhar said common people used to feel frightened due to “extortion tax” realised from them at that time.

Rajbhar said when they were seeking votes during the recent Azamgarh Lok Sabha byelections, voters used to ask them why they should vote for a party under whose rule they did not feel safe.

To a question, Rajbhar said he has not had any conversation with any of the SP leaders in the recent past.

Rajbhar’s party had contested the recent Assembly elections in the state in alliance with Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and won six seats.

The ties between the two coalition partners have been under strain for quite some time.

After resenting denial of invitation to him for a meeting of combined opposition presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha, Rajbhar decided to vote in favour of NDA’s Droupadi Murmu.

At the time of announcement of his party’s vote to Murmu, Rajbhar, an influential OBC leader, had said the support to the BJP was only for the election to the top constitutional post while its ties with the SP remained intact.

Rajbhar’s move had drawn criticism from SP leaders.