His pleas unheard, UP minister himself starts work on road (Lead, correcting para 1)

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Lucknow, June 23 (IANS) In a major embarrassment to the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, senior Cabinet Minister and Suhaildev Bahujan Samaj Party (SBSP) President Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday took up labour work for construction work of 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 leveling the road and clearing the mud, accusing the state government of doing nothing to his request, made six months ago, for construction of a road outside his house in the village.

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

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Rajbhar’s elder son Arvind Rajbhar was married on June 21 and the reception is scheduled at his native village on Sunday, which is likely to be attended by many VVIPs and dignitaries, including BJP national President Amit Shah, state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Organisational Secretary of the party Sunil Bansal and many 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 about 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 Rajbhar said.

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Rajbhar has been critical of Yogi Adityanath government for the past one year and has publicly castigated the alleged wrongs of the state government of which he is a part of.

He revolted and almost voted against the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections in April, until Amit Shah intervened and salvaged the near-certain embarrassment for the ruling party.

Earlier this month, Rajbhar also met senior 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.



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