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UP election; Bhim Army Chief says no to alliance, Says Akhilesh don't want Dalit support

UP election; Bhim Army Chief says no to alliance, Says Akhilesh dont want Dalit support

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, Image credit: PTI

Chandrashekhar Azad, the head of Bhim Army, said his group, Azad Samaj Party, would not ally with Samajwadi Party in upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. He said Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav does not want the support of Dalits.

After meeting with the chief of the Samajwadi Party to discuss seat-sharing, Chandrashekhar Azad said, "Akhileshji humiliated us yesterday. He humiliated bahujan samaj yesterday." Akhilesh Yadav "doesn't want the support of Dalits", Mr Azad said.

"I felt that Akhileshji wasn't interested in Dalit leaders in this alliance; he just wanted Dalit votes. I feared that if Dalits vote for him and he forms government, we wouldn't be able to talk to him about our problems.Then suffer the same fate as Hathras, who was beaten and his land stolen, and his women raped," he added.

NDTV reports that Akhilesh Yadav offered the Azad Samaj Party three seats, but Chandrashekhar Azad demanded ten seats; a middle ground could not be reached.

The Bhim Army chief and Mr Azad are expected to stand together in these elections, with the Bhim Army boss likely to represent Saharanpur.

Mr Azad told NDTV that Akhileshji had told him a month ago that he would fight the election with him. "I wanted to join forces with Akhileshji, but he didn't want to give representation to Dalits," he said.

In November, Mr Azad told NDTV that he would run against Yogi Adityanath in the UP election. "I won't let Yogi win, no matter what happens," he said.

Further he went on to add "I do not want the Bahujan votes to be divided," Chandrashekhar Azad said in response to Mayawati expressing a desire for an alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party.

Akhilesh Yadav is positioned as the biggest challenger to the ruling BJP in the upcoming UP election.

As opposed to adopting an alliance with the Congress, Mr Yadav formed an alliance with regional outfits, including Omprakash Rajbhar's Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (jointly formed with the Samajwadi Party last year) and Jayant Chaudhary's Rashtriya Lok Dal.

Aside from these development, he has also brought in BJP leaders with considerable influence over the OBC vote base, including two ministers (so far) in Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini. BJP leaders' resignation letters referred to the BJP's neglect of backward castes and classes in the state as a cause for resignation.

Since Mr Yadav's most loyal voters were considered to be Yadavs and Muslims, the BJP decided to target non-Yadav OBC castes for victory. This time around, the Samajwadi Party's strategy is to mimic the BJP's success by requiring non-Yadav OBC leaders to join the party.

In November, Akhilesh Yadav told NDTV that an angry movement in the west would lash out against him and his "rainbow" alliance in the east, causing the BJP to lose.

The election is scheduled to begin February 10 and result will be announced one month later - March 10.

The upcoming UP election will be a battle between Akhilesh Yadav and the ruling BJP.

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TAGS:Akhilesh YadavDalitUP electionAzad Samaj PartyALLIANCE
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