It has happened sooner than expected. The Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an ally of the Samajwadi Party, has now openly started criticising SP president Akhilesh Yadav and is even doling out ‘advice’ to the latter.
“Akhilesh should come out of the comfort of air-conditioners and move out amidst the party workers if he wants to improve his party’s performance in 2024,” SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar told reporters here.
Interestingly, SBSP MLAs did not join the Samajwadi protest in the state Assembly on Monday and remained seated.
Responding to a question, Rajbhar said, “Leaders from the SP have been meeting me and asking me to ask Akhilesh to start meeting people and visit the Assembly segments. The truth is bitter but one must accept it. Akhilesh must move out of the company of his ‘navratnas’ and meet ordinary people.”
He further said that it was mainly because of the ‘navratnas’ that the SP could not form government in the state.
“People wanted to vote for the alliance, but they (SP) did not want to take their votes,” he added.
In another significant statement, Rajbhar said that he had built his own party and was now strengthening it.
“Those who need me, will come to me,” he stated and smiled when asked about the cracks in the alliance.
Meanwhile, the SP leaders downplayed Rajbhar’s attack and said that it was a pressure tactic to get a seat in the upcoming MLC polls.
The SBSP posture, however, has created an uncomfortable situation for Akhilesh Yadav who is already facing dissent within his own party.
While senior SP leaders Mohd Azam Khan and Shivpal are maintaining a distance from Akhilesh, the other Muslim MPs and MLAs in the party are getting increasingly vocal in their criticism of their leader.
Another SP ally — the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Jayant Chaudhary — has already visited Rampur to meet the family of Mohd Azam Khan and this move, apparently did not go down well with the SP.
SP’s ally Mahan Dal chief Keshav Dev Maurya has also expressed discontent against the SP leadership by saying that his party was not given adequate seats in comparison to other partners and nor was his cadre properly utilised in the election campaign.
Sultanpur SP leader Salman Javed Raeen has resigned from the party over Akhilesh Yadav’s silence on alleged excesses committed by the state government against Muslim leaders including Azam Khan, Shahzil Islam and Nahid Hasan.