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Bhim Army chief launches Azad Samaj Party

New beginning:Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad announcing the launch of his political party, the Azad Samaj Party, during a programme in Noida on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

“We are not here to be servants, we are here to rule the country,” declared Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad at the launch of the political arm of the outfit in Noida on Sunday.

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After a skirmish with the Noida police, the Bhim Army announced the launch of the Azad Samaj Party during a glittering ceremony at a farmhouse in Sector 70, attended by hundreds of workers from across the country. “We will start with Bihar Assembly elections and Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls to be held later this year,” said Mr. Azad, who was appointed the national president of the party.

Political power

Hum yahan naukar nahin, shasak banne aye hain. Every time we used to hit the streets to save the Constitution, I was put behind bars. It used to stop our work. With political power in hand, nobody would be able to stop us from implementing the ideals of Kanshi Ram,” he said, explaining the rationale behind forming the party.

Chandrashekhar Azad at the function in Noida on Sunday.

Chandrashekhar Azad at the function in Noida on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Earlier, the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration had withheld permission because of the COVID-19 scare.

Also read | Bhim Army takes out protest march against SC ruling on reservation in promotions

It is significant that the announcement was made on the 86th birth anniversary of Kanshi Ram, the founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party. “It could not have been held on any other day,” said Kanishk Singh, a senior member of the Delhi unit of the party. “The withdrawal of permission at the last minute was politically motivated as the Bahujan Samaj Party was allowed to celebrate the birthday of Kanshi Ram ji at a nearby spot,” he alleged.

Mission 78

Mr. Azad also launched a social group, Mission 78, on the lines of The All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMCEF), the brainchild of Kanshi Ram which has lost significance in the last few years. “Like BAMCEF, Mission 78 will also bring together the bureaucrats and technocrats from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minority communities, the Bahujan samaj, to work for the uplift of the marginalised in the community,” said Mr. Azad.

Also read | Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad detained in Hyderabad ahead of anti-CAA event

Countering fears that the Bhim Army would lose sight of its goals after the formation of the party, Mr. Azad reminded of the work of Kanshi Ram who, he said, “continued to work for the marginalised even when the BSP came to power.”

‘Against Brahmanism’

 

On the aggressive image of the Bhim Army, Mr. Singh said the party was committed to saving the Constitution by legal means. “We have observed that no political party is ready to hit the road to save the ideals of Bhimrao Ambedkar. We want to fill this void. We are against Brahmanism, not Brahmins.”

Many feel that the party will cut into the vote bank of the Bahujan Samaj Party. In fact, some have suggested that the newly-formed party should first develop its base in States where BSP hasn’t been able to make a dent. “Our fight with the BSP is ideological. Under its current leadership, the BSP has wavered from the principles of Kanshi Ram. It is common knowledge that the party sells tickets in the name of collecting funds. The young leadership from the Bahujan samaj is not being allowed to grow. Having said that, we are not closing our doors on the BSP,” said Mr. Singh.

For crowdfunding

He said they had observed the Arvind Kejriwal model of crowdfunding. “The Bahujan Samaj constitutes 85% of the population. If each one contributes one rupee, there would not be any lack of funds. Also, Mission 78, would work towards financial contribution to the party,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:07:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bhim-army-chief-launches-azad-samaj-party/article31075629.ece

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