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Mayawati calls Bhim Army chief a BJP stooge

'It’s the BJP that is fielding Chandrashekhar from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat (as a dummy candidate) to divide the BSP’s Dalit votes'

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 1.04.19, 1:46 AM
  • Updated 1.04.19, 1:46 AM
  • a min read
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Mayawati is essentially supported by the Jatav caste, which accounts for 40% to 50% of the Dalit vote, but she claims the entire Scheduled Caste community is with her. Telegraph file picture

Mayawati on Sunday alleged that Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had been planted by the BJP to divide the Dalit vote, furious at his decision to contest the polls from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Small Dalit and Other Backward Classes organisations are formed before elections to damage the BSP and the movement of Babasaheb Ambedkar,” the Bahujan Samaj Party president said.

“The big political parties do this for their own selfish reasons. The members of these communities should be alert against such designs.”

She added: “It’s the BJP that is fielding Bhim Army convener Chandrashekhar from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat (as a dummy candidate) to divide the BSP’s Dalit votes.”

Two days after Priyanka Gandhi met him in Meerut, Chandrashekhar had announced in Delhi on March 15 that he would challenge Modi from Varanasi as an Independent candidate. He had organised a road show in Varanasi on Saturday, declaring it was a campaign against Modi.

Mayawati is essentially supported by the Jatav caste, which accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of the Dalit vote, but she claims the entire Scheduled Caste community is with her.

Popular among Dalit youths in western Uttar Pradesh, Chandrashekhar had appealed to the community from prison to defeat the BJP in the Kairana Lok Sabha by-election in May 2018. Mayawati had called him a “BJP agent” at that time too.

State Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi said: “It’s unfortunate that the BSP boss doesn’t want a genuine leader from her community to grow. But Chandrashekhar is already very popular; he cannot be stopped from taking the centre-stage of Dalit politics.” 

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