Old foes are turning friends in Uttar Pradesh as the Lok Sabha elections come closer.
Two UP ministers - Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak and Daya Shankar Singh - are warning up to Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar.
While deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak has termed Rajbhar as a 'friend', Daya Shankar Singh also claims that he has excellent personal relations with the SBSP leader.
Suheldev Rajbhar Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which had contested last Assembly polls in alliance with the Samajwadi Party, voted in favour of BJP candidates in the legislative council by-elections on Monday.
Asked if Rajbhar is joining hands with the BJP again, Pathak said, "Only time will tell but Rajbhar is our friend. Wherever he is, he has been with us. For a long time, he has been in our circle of friends."
The state BJP leadership , however, refused to comment on a possible alliance with SBSP and said that any decision regarding alliance would be taken by the party high command.
Rajbhar, meanwhile, maintains a studied silence on the future of his relationship with the BJP. "Nothing is impossible in politics," he adds thoughtfully.
Significantly, Rajbhar has stepped up his attack on Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav calling him a drawing room politician who lacks maturity.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, SBSP contested the polls with BJP, winning four seats before the two parties fell out in 2019.
In the 2022 Assembly elections, SBSP contested 19 seats as a partner of the SP-led opposition coalition and won six.
Rajbhar's alliance with the SP ended a few weeks after the elections.