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BSP Chief Mayawati Calls Key Party Meeting to Discuss Bypolls, Bhim Army’s Stir Over Ravidas Temple Demolition

The main agenda of the meeting, as per highly placed sources, will be the upcoming bypolls on 12 assembly seats in the state and the stir by Bhim Army over the demolition of Ravidas Temple in Delhi.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 27, 2019, 9:33 AM IST
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BSP Chief Mayawati Calls Key Party Meeting to Discuss Bypolls, Bhim Army’s Stir Over Ravidas Temple Demolition
File photo of BSP chief Mayawati. (PTI)
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Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party chief and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati has called for a key party meeting on August 28 in Lucknow. The main agenda of the meeting, as per highly placed sources, will be the upcoming bypolls on 12 assembly seats in the state and the stir by Bhim Army over the demolition of Ravidas Temple in Delhi.

The protest called by Bhim Army against demolition of Ravidas Temple in Tughlakabad area had gained massive support from the Dalit community members and people from adjoining states also reached Delhi to take part in the protest. However, later Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who was leading the protest, was detained by Delhi Police after he tried to reach the spot of demolition.

The BSP chief, however, had distanced herself from the protest against demolition of Ravidas temple as it turned violent. She had also appealed to her party workers against going on a rampage or taking the law in their hands.

“The age old practice of BSP workers of not taking law in their hands is still very prevalent, unlike other political parties. We cannot cause inconvenience to innocent people in the name of our great people and ideologues. That is why BSP has nothing to do with the violent protests in Tughlakabad last evening. BSP always respects law and our protests are always within the boundary of law,” she had tweeted.

As per sources in the BSP, the momentum and popularity gained by the Bhim Army after the protest had left the party worried and now the BSP wants to give a message to its followers. At the same time, a strategy will also be devised to counter the narrative built by the Bhim Army, which is rapidly gaining popularity among the Dalit youths. Sources claim that senior BSP leadership is concerned about the popularity of Bhim Army as it could also have an impact on its prospects in the 2022 state assembly polls.

This is not for the first time that BSP has attacked the Bhim Army without taking their name. Earlier, on many occasions the BSP chief had targeted Bhim Army and alleged that the outfit was 'B team of BJP' and was causing confusion among Dalit voters in the recently held Lok Sabha elections. Mayawati had even asked the Bhim Army to merge their outfit in BSP if they really wanted to work for the benefit of the Dalit society. On the other hand, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad has alleged that BSP chief Mayawati was indulging in dynasty politics and this would not have happened if BSP founder Kanshiram was alive.

Apart from this, another issue that will be discussed in the meeting to be held on August 28 will be bypolls on 12 assembly seats. This will be after a long time that BSP will be contesting bypolls, going against their strategy of not contesting bypolls. Preparations for the bypolls will be scrutinized by the BSP chief and also names of the candidates could be finalised.

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