The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, or SBSP, is a comparatively recent political outfit in UP, claiming a wide support base among most backward castes, Dalits, and Muslims, especially in central and eastern UP. It had allied with the BJP in 2017, and its president, Om Prakash Rajbhar, was a minister in Yogi Adityanath’s government in the first term but fell out and later aligned with the Samajwadi Party. Alleging that Akhilesh Yadav was not giving him due importance, he parted ways last year. It is now seen as cozying up to the BJP again. In its latest statement, the party has listed how its support—or lack thereof—affected the BJP and SP fortunes in previous elections and that its support is crucial to reaching power in Delhi. It is believed to be a signal to both parties to take it along, or else it can damage them. The two parties have not reacted.
UNITY MOVES MEAN MORE MEETINGS
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s efforts to unite non-BJP parties into a front for the 2024 general election are stretching into more meetings as other leaders are busy consolidating their own strategies. The postponement of the June 12 meeting in Patna is believed to be a signal to Kumar that his unity campaign is not a priority for everyone. But he is pursuing it regardless, even though parties’ responses are getting lacklustre and he has not been able to bring more parties on board. AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal is meanwhile on his own trips to states, focused on generating support against the ordinance on the Centre’s power over services in Delhi.
TRAIN MISHAP OR A STATE ISSUE
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been at the forefront of reacting to the tragic train accident in Odisha, which is understandable since the two express trains involved in the pile-up were to and from Howrah. She has listed the extent to which her government has provided relief and is vocal about the railways’ so-called negligence. It is understandable since she had earlier been a railway minister herself. However, an attempt to suggest that the alleged negligence was somehow connected to the trains being connected to West Bengal is not lost.