Continuing his tirade against the senior ally Samajwadi Party, Om Prakash Rajbhar, who heads the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, said on Wednesday that “can Akhilesh Yadav point out one election that he has won on his own?”
Akhilesh Yadav has drawn flak from allies after the Samajwadi Party’s debacle in the by-polls to Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats.
Rajbhar said Akhilesh Yadav had become the chief minister of UP in 2012 because of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav's "largesse".
"The 2012 election was fought under Mulayam Singh Yadav's strong leadership," he said, listing out a string of losses under Akhilesh Yadav -- the assembly elections in 2017 and earlier this year; and the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and 2019.
He added, “Akhilesh Yadav could not retain even the strongholds of his party.”
“The Samajwadi Party is harming itself. A party whose chief does not campaign in elections, what election will that party fight? He should step out of air-conditioned rooms and go to the ground. No one will join you if you sit in AC rooms," Rajbhar added.
The SBSP chief has been repeatedly using the “AC room” jibe against Akhilesh Yadav. However he has repeatedly clarified that he would not quit the alliance.
Continuing with his jibes, Rajbhar added, "How many villages has Akhilesh Yadav visited? How much grassroots leadership has he built? Let him ask Mulayam Singh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav and they will tell him about blocks and villages they had visited in last couple of decades.”
Rajbhar's party has considerable influence among the non-Yadav Other Backward Classes in eastern UP. He was part of a rainbow coalition stitched by Akhilesh Yadav ahead of the UP assembly elections to add to his party's Yadav-Muslim core base. With 125 seats -- Samajwadi Party won 111-- the opposition alliance improved its position but could not unseat the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in UP.
In 2017, Rajbhar had contested the assembly polls as part of the BJP-led coalition. But he left the coalition in May 2019 -- after the Lok Sabha elections.