BALLIA: Amid growing discontent in the opposition camp, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Friday said he was waiting for "talaq" (divorce) from the Akhilesh Yadav side.
Rajbhar, however, said he will not initiate any step to break ties with the Samajwadi Party (SP).
"I will not initiate any step to end alliance with the SP. I will wait to be divorced by Akhilesh Yadav," Rajbhar told PTI before leaving for his party meeting in the neighbouring Mau district.
Rajbhar also said he is "still with the Samajwadi Party, but will not remain together forcefully if Akhilesh Yadav doesn't want it."
The immediate flashpoint in their strained relationship is the SP supremo not inviting ally Rajbhar for a meeting called in Lucknow in support of the opposition Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha on Thursday.
"Akhilesh Yadav might have forgotten about me, so he didn't call me," the SBSP chief quipped.
Rajbhar, whose party has six members in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, said he will announce his decision on supporting the Presidential candidate on July 12.
"The matter will be discussed in the meeting (in Mau) before taking a decision," he added.
Rajbhar has on several occasions commented on Yadav, asking him to come out of his air-conditioned room and toil among the masses to win their support.
The differences between the two leaders came out in the open after the defeat of SP candidates in the Rampur and Azamgarh bypolls last month.
In an interview with the PTI recently, Rajbhar, an influential OBC leader, had made a strong case for the SP and BSP joining hands to take on the BJP in the 2024 general elections.
When asked about Rajbhar's suggestion, Yadav had said, "The Samajwadi Party doesn't need anyone's advice."
The SBSP contested 19 seats in the recent Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as a partner of the SP-led opposition coalition and won six.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the SBSP contested the polls with BJP and had won four seats. Rajbhar, however, broke this alliance after forming the government.