Amid mounting discontent in the Opposition camp in Uttar Pradesh, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday, 9 July fuelled speculations of a rift and said that he was awaiting a 'divorce' from the Samajwadi Party.
"I will not initiate any step to end alliance with the SP. I will wait to be divorced by Akhilesh Yadav," Rajbhar said.
This came after the SP supremo didn't invite Rajbhar for a meeting called in support of the Opposition's presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha, last week in Lucknow.
But what are some other reasons behind the rift between the two leaders? Here is what we know:
Continuous Electoral Defeats
One of the main reasons for the rift is the SP's continuous electoral losses. In 2017, the SP contested the Assembly elections with the Congress and after being defeated, the Congress broke off from the alliance.
In 2019, the SP unexpectedly entered into an alliance with the BSP; however, the coalition only lasted till the Lok Sabha elections.
Now, in 2022, the SP has joined hands with SBSP but may be looking at a similar fate.
Performance in Bypolls
Sources indicate that the SP's performance in the Lok Sabha by-elections in June, is also responsible for bringing about the rift between the two parties.
In the UP bypolls, the SP was defeated in their strongholds of Rampur and Azamgarh, after SP chief Akhilesh Yadav did not reach these two places to campaign.
Following the defeat, Om Prakash Rajbhar had said that political parties did not operate from AC rooms and that one has to get on the ground.
Hitting back, Yadav had said that he does not need anyone's advice.