Samajwadi Party Lok Sabha candidate from Gorakhpur Ram Bhuwal Nishad has claimed that the Nishad party chief, Sanjay Nishad, had a deal with Yogi Adityanath and took Rs 50 crore from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to join ranks with the saffron party.
“There was a deal. Nishad Party chief, Sanjay Nishad took Rs 50 crore from BJP to become a part of the party. He had a deal with Yogi ji,” news agency ANI quoted Ram Bhuwal Nishad as saying.
Ram Bhuwal had been two-time MLA from Kaudiram assembly seat, now Gorakhpur rural, and was fisheries minister during Mayawati’s government in 2007.
The Nishad party is headed by Sanjay Nishad, the father of Pravin Nishad, who had won the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat in the 2018 bypolls on an SP ticket.
The win had been remarkable, as Gorakhpur was considered a bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was a five-time MP from the constituency, vacated the seat in 2017 to take over as the chief minister.
Meanwhile, the announcement comes after the Nishad Party on Friday night sprang a surprise by parting ways with the SP-BSP-RLD alliance and met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
While Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad had said he quit the SP-BSP-RLD alliance because the SP was not willing to let it contest on its party symbol, Sanjay met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and stated that he will not be a part of the three opposition parties’ alliance and the BJP has agreed to let the party contest on its own symbol.
At around 15 percent, the Nishad community has a sizeable presence in Gorakhpur.
In 2018, in a big setback to the BJP ahead, the saffron party was trounced in bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats, including Gorakhpur, the citadel of Yogi Adityanath. UP CM, who had termed the SP-BSP alliance as one of ‘snake and mongoose’, had to eat his own words as the Akhilesh-Mayawati combine swept Gorakhpur and Phulpur.