"I too have resolved to stay away from Akhilesh": SP Bhumihar leader Narad Rai vows to support BJP

He also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday night in Ballia when Shah was in the constituency to support the BJP candidate, Neeraj Shekhar.


ANI | Updated: 29-05-2024 10:09 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 10:09 IST
"I too have resolved to stay away from Akhilesh": SP Bhumihar leader Narad Rai vows to support BJP
Narad Rai. (Photo/ANI). Image Credit: ANI
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In a big setback to the Samajwadi Party just before the last phase of the general elections, the party's prominent Bhumihar face in purvanchal, Narad Rai has announced his exit from the party and vows to support the BJP. Narad Rai is said to have joined the SP in the 1980s. This step is being seen as a major setback for the Samajwadi party and the INDIA bloc as Ballia is to go to polls in the last phase on June 1.

He also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday night in Ballia when Shah was in the constituency to support the BJP candidate, Neeraj Shekhar. Giving clarity on his decision, Narad Rai told ANI, "Samajwadi Party was nurtured by my blood and sweat. I worked on the principles of Dr Rammanohar Lohia- to stand with the poor. I stood beside Netaji like his own son when he was insulted. I kept saying that insulting Netaji would prove costly for the Samajwadi Party. Netaji cried when he was removed from the post of party chief. Akhilesh Yadav then took over the charge forcefully. We thought that Akhilesh Yadav must have forgotten whatever happened after he started giving respect to Netaji. But that did not happen."

"He (Akhilesh) used to tell people that Narad Rai, Om Prakash Singh, and Balram Yadav, these people created a distance between us and Netaji. We did not create a distance between you and Netaji, your greed took you away from Netaji," Rai added. He further alleged that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav gave him a ticket in 2022 but also made arrangements so that he would not win.

"That was proved when Akhilesh Yadav did not come to campaign in my Vidhan Sabha. Akhilesh Yadav during his address in a public gathering did not take my name. If he wants to maintain distance, then I too have resolved to stay away from Akhilesh Yadav. I am thankful to the Bharatiya Janata Party and especially to the Union Home Minister who gave me respect overnight. I will try my best to ensure that the BJP candidate wins from Ballia and the SP candidate loses. I will get a lock installed on the cycle and will request people to press the Kamal button," Narad Rai said. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Sanatan Pandey from the Ballia seat. The party's decision to ignore Narad Rai is also being seen as one of the factors for the latter leaving the party after a long relationship.

Narad Rai also claimed that initially he was offered to contest from Ballia Lok Sabha in 2024 but the SP leadership "under the influence of Ansari's brother" decided to replace him with Pandey. Apart from Ballia, Bhumihar voters play a significant role in seats like Ghazipur from where Mukhtar Ansari's brother Afzal Ansari is contesting this election as SP candidate. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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