Udit Raj joins the race for Dalit votes
WITH VIDHAN Sabha election virtually knocking on the door, the tug-of-war for Dalit votes has began in Uttar Pradesh. On Friday, the Indian Justice Party (IJP) of Udit Raj also joined the fray with a Dalit rally here.india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 01:33 IST
WITH VIDHAN Sabha election virtually knocking on the door, the tug-of-war for Dalit votes has began in Uttar Pradesh. On Friday, the Indian Justice Party (IJP) of Udit Raj also joined the fray with a Dalit rally here.
Addressing the rally, IJP national president Udit Raj called upon Dalits to leave the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and join his efforts to achieve social justice.
Raj said time had come to free Dalits from the clutches of the BSP. When Kanshi Ram had former the BSP, he asked Bahujan Samaj members that the ‘tilak’, ‘tarazu’ and ‘talwar’ were exploiters of the Dalit community. Now, BSP supremo Mayawati has joined hands with the same forces that were against the welfare of the Dalits, he lamented.
To increase its vote bank, the BSP is desperately wooing Brahmins, Thakurs and Yadavs. While BSP leaders are trying hard to explain to its cadre about the need to befriend the upper caste, the IJP grabbed the opportunity to pull the rug from under the feet of Mayawati.
Raj said when the BSP began poor party workers were motivated to contest the election. They lost and had to face humiliation. Now, when the BSP had consolidated its position and was capable of winning elections, Mayawati had started selling Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha tickets to exploiters, he alleged.
Raj had launched the ‘Dalit Mukti Yatra’ on February 2 and today’s rally marked the culmination of his mission to create awareness among Dalits. Enthused with the large turn out, Raj said the IJP would contest the coming Vidhan Sabha election and give a befitting reply to the BSP.
He said the IJP would raise the issue of reservation in the private sector. We would also highlight the deterioration in law and order, poor power supply, declining irrigation facilities and job opportunities, he said. Another rally would be organised on May 30 with like-minded political parties, Raj said.
The presence of Republican Party of India (RPI) national president Ramdas Athawale and CPI (ML) State secretary Akhilendra Pratap Singh boosted Raj’s spirit.
Training his gun on the Congress, Athawale said after coming to power the party failed to fulfill the promise it had made to Dalits. Neither the backlog of Dalits in government services had been filled nor reservation provided in the private sector for the SC/ST members, he said.
Akhilendra said several political parties had been formed for Dalits and the have-nots. Now, the time had come for like-minded parties to join hands under the IJP and work for the welfare of the Dalits.