Donning the trademark yellow scarf associated with his party, Rajbhar, a former UP cabinet minister, drove to the SP office and had a meeting with the Yadav for over half-an-hour, but neither of the sides divulged the nature of the talks.
The Assembly by-elections are due in 12 seats in Uttar Pradesh as sitting MLAs got elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2019 parliamentary polls.
The 2022 Assembly elections in the state might have cropped up during the discussion between the two leaders, an SP leader said.
Rajbhars account for around four per cent of the total electorate in the state. The community has a sizable strength in Azamgarh, Mau, Ghosi, Ballia, Salempur, Jaunpur, Lalganj Ghazipur, Deoria and some other seats in the state.
Rajbhars constitute 20 per cent of the Purvanchal population and are regarded as the second-most politically dominant community after Yadavs in the eastern UP.
A leader from the Rajbhar caste - Anil Rajbhar - was elevated as a cabinet minister from minister of stat (independent charge) during the Wednesday''s reshuffle of the UP council of ministers.
He was allocated the Backward Class Welfare and Divyangjan Empowerment ministry -- a portfolio held by Om Prakash Rajbhar earlier.
The SBSP had won four seats in the 2017 UP assembly elections, though the party could not open its account in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Om Prakash Rajbhar was dumped from the UP ministry by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath just a day after the Lok Sabha polls ended for making embarrassing statements against the BJP.
During the Lok Sabha election campaign, he had once said the BJP members should be "thrashed" with shoes.
As his outbursts against the senior NDA partner BJP grew louder, Adityanath sacked him from his cabinet on May 20.
Then Governor Ram Naik accepted the chief minister''s recommendation and relieved Om Prakash Rajbhar with immediate effect. His department went to Anil Rajbhar, then an MoS.
A recalcitrant Om Prakash Rajbhar had soon afterwards welcomed the decision by the chief minister to sack him from his cabinet.
"I welcome the decision (to sack me). The decision taken by the chief minister was a delayed one," he had said.
An angry Adityanath also recommended to the governor that all other Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) members holding the rank of minister of state be removed immediately.
The sacked Rajbhar had expressed strong resentment at the BJP for not allying with the SBSP in the the state in the Lok Sabha polls.
"I was only demanding one seat in the Lok Sabha election. We are a party. And if we do not contest, then what message will we give to our party workers and people?" he had asked. PTI ABN SMI AQS
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI