Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav took potshots at Om Prakash Om Prakash Rajbhar on Thursday, saying the spirit of “some other party” has entered into the body of his former ally and needed to be exorcised.
Indirectly, Akhilesh Yadav also suggested that the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh was broken under “pressure” or due to some “threat” from the ruling BJP.
In another jibe at the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), Akhilesh Yadav said the SP or any SP-led alliance never faced any allegation of graft in the allocation of tickets till it entered into a coalition with Om Prakash Rajbhar's outfit.
He said through Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's questioning by the Enforcement Directorate, the BJP was giving out the message that whoever speaks against it would get such calls from central agencies.
Reacting to Om Prakash Rajbhar's suggestion that he should come out of “air-conditioned rooms” and work among the people, Akhilesh Yadav said everyone knew who has instigated the SBSP leader.
“I feel that the spirit of some other party has entered into him, which can only go away through 'jhaad-phoonk' (exorcism)", he told reporters.
He blamed the SBSP over “allegations” that money changed hands during the allocation of tickets in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls which the two parties fought together.
"The Samajwadi Party or its alliance had never faced allegations that tickets were being given for money. But such a charge was levelled when the SP formed an alliance with SBSP leader Om Prakash Om Prakash Rajbhar," Yadav said.
On Om Prakash Rajbhar being reportedly extended 'Y' category security, he said those who keep the BJP happy get security.
The SP-SBSP alliance ended recently with Om Prakash Rajbhar getting a letter that he was free to go wherever he gets more respect. Another ally, Shivpal Singh Yadav received a similar letter.
The development came after Shivpal Yadav and Om Prakash Rajbhar supported the National Democratic Alliance presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, who defeated Yashwant Sinha, the Opposition nominee backed by the SP.
Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of practising “divide and rule”, limiting itself not just to castes and communities but also targeting the opposition.
He charged that the BJP resorted to “pressure” and “threats” and cited developments in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. “Maybe this is why the alliance in Uttar Pradesh was broken,” Akhilesh Yadav said, without elaborating.
On Shivpal Singh Yadav, the SP leader said, “He will always remain my uncle. But if he feels that I am not able to give him proper respect then I free him and he has the freedom to go with whichever party he wants to and have an alliance".
He said it would be good if Shivpal Yadav strengthens his own party.
Contesting the assembly elections as part of the SP led alliance, Om Prakash Rajbhar's party had won six seats. Shivpal Yadav, who heads the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia, won his Jaswant Nagar seat as an SP nominee.
The two have been at odds with the SP chief after the opposition coalition's defeat in the assembly polls.
The SBSP reacted sharply to Yadav's remarks on Thursday. Party spokesperson Arun Rajbhar said Akhilesh Yadav is unable to find a new alliance partner in Purvanchal.
He alleged that Akhiles Yadav's `navratnas' (courtiers) took money for election tickets, challenging him to ask the candidates themselves.
"They took the money and are levelling allegations on us,” the SBSP leader said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)