The verbal exchange between the BJP and its ally in Uttar Pradesh, Om Prakash Rajbhar, turned more bitter today. Mr Rajbhar, who on Sunday dared the party to part ways with his outfit, accused the state government of denying funds to open schools for people with disabilities.
Mr Rajbhar, a state cabinet minister and the president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, has an uneasy relationship with the BJP leadership in Uttar Pradesh. He has been making comments against the party and its decisions in the state and at the centre.
On Saturday, UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey had launched a scathing attack on Mr Rajbhar, calling him a “necessary evil”. “We are running a government in the state with overwhelming majority. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are doing exemplary work. On such a large ‘rajpath’, in political arena, there are some necessary evils (anivaarya buraai) who accompany you. As of now, it is Om Prakash (Rajbhar) who is a necessary evil is accompanying (us),” he said.
Today, Mr Rajbhar said in a tweet that there was no budget in the state for the empowerment of people with disabilities, but thousands of crores were being spent for Kumbh, a mega religious fair to be organised in Allahabad next year.
“In Uttar Pradesh, there are 16 divyaang (people with disabilities) schools in 75 districts. In the state, there are 1.5 crore divyaang people. Now, how will they study in these 16 schools? If we speak up in this regard, it is said that we are speaking against them in revolt,” he said in a series of tweets.
“Keeping in mind the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Ram Mandir issue is being fanned. Through Kumbh, branding of the Lok Sabha elections is being done. In Kumbh, thousands of crores of rupees are being spent, but when I seek budget for Divyaangjan Empowerment Department, there is no budget,” he added.
UP Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal said, “The question should be asked to the honourable Chief Minister. I am a minister who is equivalent to him (Mr Rajbhar). Hence, it will not be appropriate for me to comment on a person who is equivalent to me.”
Om Prakash Rajbhar recently said the clamour for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya was an “election drama” played out every time when the polls approach.
With inputs from PTI