Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav could face more setbacks in the wake of the exit of alliance partner Rajbhar and the joining of senior leader Dara Singh Chauhan in the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). With the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on an expansion spree, two more alliance partners of Akhilesh may soon join its ranks.
Last week, Om Prakash Rajbhar, a prominent backward leader and chief of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), joined the NDA. The SBSP was previously part of the Samajwadi alliance in the 2022 UP assembly elections, along with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Janwadi Kranti Party, and Mahan Dal.
According to senior leaders of the UP BJP, the decks have now been cleared for Janwadi Kranti Party and Mahan Dal to also join the NDA. It is expected that Janwadi Kranti Party chief Sanjay Chauhan and Mahan Dal leader Keshav Dev Maurya will soon be seen sharing the stage with Home Minister Amit Shah after joining the alliance.
The strained relationship between Akhilesh Yadav and the two alliance partners, Janwadi Kranti Party and Mahan Dal, became evident after being denied a seat in the legislative council. As a result, there has been a lack of communication between them, unlike the RLD whose leader Jayant Chaudhary attended the joint meeting of opposition parties in Bangalore.
Moreover, apart from these two alliance partners, it is speculated that several senior Samajwadi leaders may also defect to the BJP in the near future. There are reports that some senior OBC leaders of SP from eastern UP are set to join BJP soon. The BJP has its eyes on the seven parliamentary seats in eastern UP that it lost in the 2019 general elections and is actively focusing on the OBC community in the region. To bolster its support among the backward classes, the saffron party has been actively wooing leaders from this community.
Recently, the BJP welcomed senior Samajwadi leader and sitting legislator Dara Singh Chauhan into its fold. It is now anticipated that SP leader and former minister Sahab Singh Saini, along with Rajpal Saini and other backward leaders from Jaunpur district, including Sushma Patel and Jagdish Sonkar, might also make the switch to the BJP.