From Saharanpur violence to CAA protests, know how Bhim Army Chief became a big face of opposition politics in UP


Lucknow. The attack on Azad Samaj Party (Kanshiram) national president and Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad comes at a time when he is working to expand the party ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections. At present, Chandra Shekhar Azad, one of the most prominent faces of Ambedkarite politics, was injured after being shot in Deoband on Wednesday. He has emerged as a major player in UP politics in recent years. The attack on the Bhim Army chief comes at a time when he is working on expanding his party’s base in western UP and neighboring states and preparing for next year’s parliamentary elections.

Steps are being taken for alliance with SP-RLD

Chandra Shekhar Azad is close to the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leadership. The Azad Samaj Party (Kanshi Ram), just three years old, is in a position to be a part of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and RLD alliance for the Lok Sabha elections. In April, the youth leader had shared the dais with SP president Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Jayant Chowdhary at Ambedkar’s birthplace Mhow in Madhya Pradesh on Ambedkar Jayanti. A law graduate from Chhutmalpur area in UP’s Saharanpur district, Azad was among those He was the one who founded the Bhim Army i.e. Bharat Ekta Mission to fight for the rights of Dalits and other marginalized groups. The Bhim Army gradually established itself as a ‘pressure group’ for Dalit interests, that is, this group used to vocally oppose the abuse and violence against Dalits. There is also a social aspect to the activities of the Bhim Army. Bhim Pathshala runs a free after school tuition center for children.

Azad’s face shines brightly after Shabbirpur violence

In 2017, Azad came into limelight after the violence between Thakurs and Dalits in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur. The Dalits of the village objected to loud music being played in a procession of Thakurs going to attend a function in honor of the Rajput ruler Maharana. There was violence regarding this matter. The houses of 25 Dalits were set on fire. Later, on the strength of the Bhim Army, the Dalits raised their voice about their oppression four days after the incident. Chandra Shekhar Azad was accused of inciting violence. A case was registered against them. After this he was forced to flee. He was arrested from Himachal Pradesh the following month and charged under the National Security Act (NSA). Later, the UP government canceled the charges under NSA and ordered his early release. Azad’s image got a boost after he was released from jail in September 2018. This whole episode strengthened the Bhim Army chief as an outspoken leader of Dalit youth.


Mayawati is called Guru and Eklavya himself

Protested against the demolition of Ravidas Mandir in Delhi, and against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens at Shaheen Bagh. Two important protests further raised his profile. As his popularity grew outside western UP, Azad began to strengthen his organization’s presence in Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. On several occasions, her supporters projected her as an alternative to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati. In 2019, amid Azad’s growing appeal, Mayawati referred to “an organization running in Uttar Pradesh in the name of Bhima” – an apparent reference to Azad – and alleged that this organization had something to do with BR Ambedkar’s movement- Do not give. The comments came at a time when the Bhim Army grabbed headlines for its protest against the gang rape of a Dalit girl in Alwar. In an interview to The Indian Express last year, Azad had said that he considered Mayawati his “guru”. He said he was trying to learn from her like “Eklavya”.

Together with Jayant, Jat-Dalit alliance is being formed

The Azad Samaj Party leader had met Akhilesh before the assembly elections last year, fueling speculation of an alliance between the two. However, the talks failed and Azad accused the SP chief of insulting him. He contested from Gorakhpur Sadar against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, but finished fourth. Mhow’s incident brought Akhilesh closer. There seems to be a kind of understanding between the two leaders. During the assembly bypolls last year, Azad shared the stage with Akhilesh at a rally in Rampur, but the SP lost the seat to the BJP. Asked about the close ties between LD and Azad, a senior RLD leader Said, “Both have a common working area of ​​western UP. Dalits and Jats can form a strong base for both the parties in the area. Chandra Shekhar shared the stage with Jayant Chowdhary in many programs organized by RLD in Rajasthan in recent months. Currently, Chandra Shekhar’s party is an ally of the RLD in UP. He campaigned door-to-door for our candidate in the Khatauli assembly by-election, in which we defeated the BJP.

Azad Samaj Party’s preparation for Lok Sabha elections intensified

The Azad Samaj Party had also supported RLD candidates on various seats in West UP during the urban local bodies last month. The Azad Samaj Party (Azad) won three nagar panchayat president posts and five municipal councilor posts, and 12 of its candidates were elected to municipal councils and 10 members to nagar panchayats. The RLD leader said, “But nothing has been decided yet about the Lok Sabha elections.” Sources said that the Azad Samaj Party is preparing to contest the Lok Sabha elections in MP, Rajasthan, UP, Punjab and Bihar and From July, the Lok Sabha will start announcing the names of the leaders in charge of the constituencies.


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