In Noida, Bhim Army chief launches political party — Azad Samaj Party
On Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kashi Ram’s 86th birth anniversary, the Bhim Army on Sunday announced its new political party — the Azad Samaj Party (ASP) in Noida’s Sector 70.
Addressing a gathering of over 2,000 of his supporters, Bhim Army and ASP chief Chandra Shekhar Azad said that since scheduled castes do not have many job opportunities in the country, they should join politics to rule the country.
“Iss desh mein jab tak sansad mein daliton, pichhdon aur muslimon ka poora kabza nahin hoga, iss desh ki halat nahin sudhregi (Till scheduled castes, backward castes and Muslims get full control over Parliament, India cannot improve its existing condition),” he said.
Reiterating Dalit leader Kashi Ram’s slogan, “Aarakshan se lenge SP- DM, vote se lenge CM- PM”, the ASP chief said Bahujan society is “sinking”.
“Our Constitution is in extreme danger, and the rulers are putting in all efforts to make us their slaves. We should vow that in any coming elections, whether of panchayat, assembly or Parliament, we will not vote in favour of any upper caste candidate,” Azad said.
He also launched the party flag — a white band between two blue strips, with Azad Samaj Party written in the centre.
Holding up a letter written by Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula to the crowd, Azad said she “blessed him” before he launched the political party, and asked him to be loyal to the country and Constitution. Rohith Vemula was a Dalit scholar at the University of Hyderabad who took his own life in 2016, triggering protests across the country.
“I have told her [Radhika] that I would die than breach the trust of the people. I have also told her that had I been an opportunist, I could have become an MP or MLA way back in 2014,” he said.
Speaking about another disciple of Kashi Ram and BSP chief Mayawati, Azad said that since she has been working for so long, she is now unable to do everything on her own. “We will settle in politics together. One must not forget that in politics, no one is an enemy for a long time,” the ASP chief said.
He also took a jibe at the BJP governments in the Centre and Uttar Pradesh.
“These people have nothing to do with rising prices, increasing unemployment and the worsening law and order scenario. They have not changed the work culture, but have changed the names, like the Planning Commission has now been rechristened Niti Aayog,” he said.
Underlining his party’s agenda, Azad said they will continue fighting for change in society, till their mission of establishing “BR Ambedkar’s India” is fulfilled.
“Till we are not in Assembly or Parliament, we will continue our struggle on the streets. The BJP and Congress might claim that we are their agents or they may implicate us in false cases, but we will not stop till Babasaheb’s [BR Ambedkar] mission is complete,” he said.
The launch was attended by 98 leaders from other political parties, including the Samajwadi Party, BSP, Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
Reacting to Azad’s allegations, Jewar BJP MLA Dhirendra Singh the BJP does not believe in nepotism or discrimination .
“Can he give an example of a single name in offices, where our party member is chairing a post. None of the posts in any ministry or department has been given without merit. In the rat race of power, these leaders have no respect for government advisories or orders. He virtually played with the lives of his supporters holding such public gathering, when the country is facing a coronavirus crisis,” he said.
Earlier, in wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Gautam Budh Nagar administration had put up a health advisory, signed by assistant commissioner of police, Zone 1, at the main gate of the venue in Dasai village.
The district administration also had banned any public gatherings, and the owner of venue had locked the main gate. But the crowd turned impatient, broke the lock and entered the venue and started preparations for the event.
ASP supporters claimed the police had given them permission for the event. However, the deputy commissioner of police of the area, Harish Chander, denied this.
“They had not asked for any permission, so there is no question of denial or approval from our end,” he said.