Facing an uphill task to regain its base in Doaba, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) here on Friday sounded the poll bugle for the 2017 Punjab assembly polls by putting up a show of strength.
Organised on the death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram, the state-level rally witnessed a jampacked pandal, spread over more than 5 acres. Speaking on the occasion, BSP leaders attacked the Akali-BJP government over the drug issue.
“The Parkash Singh Badal-led government has failed on all fronts. This government has promised free atta-dal, education and many other things for the poor and Dalits, but nobody is getting it. People of Punjab are only getting drugs, which are available in every nook and corner,” alleged party’s Rajya Sabha member and national general secretary Narendra Kashyap, who addressed the rally as the main speaker.
Kashyap stated that as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, when he asked the Centre about the number of persons addicted to drugs in Punjab, the reply was 67% of the population.
“When the leaders who are part of the government are themselves selling drugs, what can you expect? The government’s tactic is to keep people hooked on drugs so as to divert their attention from its non-performance,” said Kashyap.
The BSP also extended its support to the farmers’ ‘rail roko’ agitation and accused the chief minister of making fun of them by saying that he would listen to farmers only if they raised genuine demands.
Several BSP leaders took a swipe at the BJP and the Congress and accused them of belittling Dalits. “The Congress has always used Dalits as a vote bank and now the BJP and RSS leaders want to change the provision of reservation for Dalits in the Constitution. It’s up to us what we choose,” said BSP state chief Avtar Singh Karimpuri.
Kashyap expressed confidence that in the 2017 assembly polls, the party would emerge as the power centre in Punjab.