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Mayawati, rebel leaders fight for Kanshi Ram’s legacy

BSP supporters at a rally to mark the 10th death anniversary of its founder Kanshi Ram in Lucknow on Sunday.- Photo: Rajeev Bhatt  

Fighting for the legacy of BSP founder Kanshi Ram, three of his followers, including former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, held separate programmes in the city on his 10th death anniversary on Sunday.

It was a show of strength by BSP chief Mayawati who managed to gather a “massive” crowd by bringing supporters in “19 trains and 500 buses” to the sprawling Kanshi Ram Smarak Maidan.

On the other hand, R K Chaudhary, once a close confidant of Mayawati, preferred a quiet ‘shrandhanjali sabha’ to pay homage.

“Mayawati says Kanshi Ram handed over the legacy to her... Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram’s ideology and movement for social change are not something that can be turned into a ‘private company’,” Mr. Chaudhary, who had in June quit BSP accusing the party chief of selling tickets for elections, said.

Former U.P. Minister Daddu Prasad, who was expelled from the party, held a day-long rally at the grand Ramabai Ambedkar sthal, a ground so large that it is a challenge for political parties to fill it up.

BSP had draped the city in blue putting up banners of Kanshi Ram all across.

On the 10th death anniversary of her mentor, the BSP supremo kickstarted the party’s campaign for the 2017 Assembly polls.

She told her supporters that the leaders who quit the party in the recent past have done so to “serve their petty interests and are levelling false allegations against me“.

“It will have no impact on BSP and the party will form the government on its own after the polls,” she said.

Mr. Prasad said Mayawati has deviated from Kanshi Ram’s ideals, “betrayed the bahujan samaj and is merely using BSP to serve her own interests”. - PTI

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