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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Bhim Army working on Muslim-backward alliance in UP

cities Updated: Sep 16, 2019 21:53 IST

The movement launched by the Bhim Army against the demolition of the Sant Ravidas temple in Tughlakhabad area of Delhi is likely to prepare the ground for fresh political and caste alliances in Uttar Pradesh, political activists and observers have said.

Although Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar was jailed following the agitation, leaders of the Muslim and backward communities were mobilising their workers in support of his organisation, they said.

The BJP’s former ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which enjoys support among the Rajbhar community settled in UP, has announced plans to join hands with the Bhim Army.

Besides supporting the movement launched by the Bhim Army, the SBSP is also working on an alliance to contest the 2022 assembly election.

Suheldev Bahujan Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar said members of his party will stage dharnas and demonstrations in support of the Bhim Army’s demand to reconstruct Ravidas temple. Confirming a meeting with Bhim Army leaders in Delhi, Rajbhar said a strategy was being prepared for the long-term political alliances with the Dalit-based party that has a support base among the scheduled caste community in UP, as well as other states, he said.

On Sunday large, a number of Muslims led by prominent leaders and clerics, including Mehmood Pracha, Maulana Faziul Manan, Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, Maulana Mohammmad Qasim Zaidy and Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasim, organised a silent march in Delhi, demanding re-construction of the Ravidas temple and release of 96 Bhim Army members, including Chandrashekhar.

Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, general secretary of Anjuman-e- Haideri said, the Muslims were concerned about the action against Bhim Army members who were organising a peaceful protest against demolition of the Ravidas temple. The Muslim community had extended support to the Bhim Army on the issue, he said.

Replying to a question, Naqvi said the Bhim Army was working on Dalit-Muslim-Backward unity on social and political issues. The inaction of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on public issues prompted Muslims to look to the Bhim Army. The Bhim Army will get the support of the Muslim community in the 2022 assembly election, he said.

The increasing popularity of Bhim Army among Dalits and Muslims caused some anxiety among the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leadership that is working to regain its hold over schedule castes after consecutive defeats in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

In a series of Tweets last month, Mayawati urged the party supporters to maintain peace. She condemned the violent protest organised by Bhim Army, terming it inappropriate. Earlier she alleged that Bhim Army was creating confusion among the Dalits.

She said if Bhim Army was concerned about the welfare of the Dalits, Chandrashekhar should merge his organisation with the BSP and “work according to our policies”.

Mayawati has directed her party leaders to start preparing for the by-polls on 13 assembly seats and give a befitting reply to the opponents by winning the maximum seats.



First Published: Sep 16, 2019 21:53 IST

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