Bhim army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan today addressed a mega gathering of Dalit, tribal and OBC outfits in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, where elections are likely to be held at the end of this year. He announced that he would field candidates under the collective banner of Dalit, tribal, OBC and minority communities as an alternative to the ruling BJP and opposition candidates in the state.
Chandrashekhar Azad also asked people to ensure that the state gets a chief minister.
“We don’t believe anyone anymore but will fight our struggle collectively in the polls of Madhya Pradesh. Be it the BJP or the Congress, they don’t want to give us our rights. You elected the Congress but it failed to save his government. We’re now relying on our own collective strength and power,” he told NewsMadura.
He read out a list of 31 demands from the collective forum (which also includes OBC Mahasabha and tribal outfit Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti-JAYS). The list of demands included holding a caste census in the country, passing a law of caste reservation upon promotion in Madhya Pradesh, withdrawing cases filed against weaker sections, increasing compensation for victims of atrocities against SC/ ST up to Rs 30 lakh. and raising the minimum wage under the MNREGA to Rs 700.
“Incompetent people have ruled us because we shy away from participating in politics. If we have the casting vote, why should we rely on anyone else? It’s time we reach from the sadak (roads) to the sadan (legislature) .to fight for our rights We no longer allow rani ka beta (son of the queen) to the raja (king), now those who have the casting vote will be the ones to rule,” he said.
“We now have our own united front, which includes almost 85 percent of the weaker sections and minorities. We will write a new chapter in Madhya Pradesh politics,” he said, adding that the united third front will have a chief minister as in the state is voted into power.
During a dig at the Mayawati-led BSP whose strength in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha fell to two seats in 2018 from four seats in the 2013 polls and one of the two current MLAs joined the ruling BJP, the leader of the Bhim army “those who are unable to save their MLAs then how can we expect them to protect the Bahujan samaj.”
He also announced plans to take out several Nyay Yatras across the state to mobilize public support for the demands and said finer details of contesting the next assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh will be worked out in the near future at a joint meeting of all partners of this collective platform.
Last year, Bhim army chief Chandrashekhar was detained at Bhopal airport as soon as he arrived to join a protest rally organized by OBC Mahasabha to demand 27 percent OBC reservation, but Bhim army is gaining ground in backward caste regions . including Gwalior-Chambal, Ujjain Division of Western Madhya Pradesh and parts of Bundelkhand while the JAYS is a tribal outfit operating in the tribal region of Western and South Western Madhya Pradesh and the GGP plays in the other tribal dominated Mahakoshal region. The OBC Mahasabha, meanwhile, is working to gain a foothold in the Bundelkhand and Gwalior-Chambal region.
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