Lucknow: The Bhim Army could be a new entrant to the opposition bloc INDIA.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal is making efforts to bring Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad on board and get the advantage of Dalit votes for the opposition since he wields considerable influence in the region.
RLD national general secretary (organisation) Trilok Tyagi said the party certainly has “good relations” with Azad.
However, he refrained from commenting on when and how the Bhim Army chief would join the opposition bloc, but said the number of constituents of INDIA “have increased” over a period of time and “would certainly increase further” in the coming days.
RLD sources said that Azad can help the opposition to firm up its footprints among Dalit voters, amid the electoral decline of BSP chief Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh.
Azad, who hails from Ghadkhauli village of Saharanpur district, has always invoked Dalit icon B R Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshi Ram in his bid to fortify his standing among Dalits.
Sources said if the plan gets finalised, then Azad would become part of the SP-RLD-Congress alliance in UP.
Azad is said to be preparing to contest LS polls from Nagina, a reserved seat in Bijnor, which has a high concentration of Dalits and Muslims. He is also scheduled to hold a public meeting in Nagina on October 9, sources said.
Nagina is currently represented by BSP’s Girish Chandra who won the seat in 2019 by defeating BJP’s Yashwant Singh by over 1.6 lakh votes. The BSP was then backed by SP as part of an alliance.
This was not the case in 2014 when Singh won the seat by defeating SP’s Yashvir Singh. Chandra had then come third then.