Former BSP leader R K Chaudhary, who quit the party in June accusing its chief Mayawati of selling tickets for elections, announced Friday that he will begin a “parivartan yatra” from Lucknow on September 11 and hold over 100 public meetings in central and eastern UP in next three weeks.
The yatra, which is scheduled to end on October 2 with a rally in Allahabad, will cover 14 districts which have significant population of Dalits of Pasi sub-caste, to which Chaudhary himself belongs.
The yatra is likely to create difficulties for Mayawati in wooing Pasis, which is the second largest Dalit sub-caste in the state after Jatavs. While Pasis have supported all the parties, Jatavs are seen as ardent BSP supporters.
Chaudhary also attacked Mayawati saying that the BSP’s movement died with the death of party founder Kanshi Ram.
“I am trying to copy him. He had taken out a parivartan yatra. Mayawati has neither capability nor vision to take out such yatra. The nest, which was created by Kanshi Ram saab for Bahujan Samaj, has been infested with snakes because of Mayawati. This is why everyone is leaving it,” said Chaudhary, a founder-member of the BSP.
He said his yatra is aimed at “social change” and not just “the change of regime”. In a dig at BJP president Amit Shah who last month had lunch at the party’s Dalit MP Kaushal Kishore’s house, Chaudhary said a politician’s having food at another politician’s house will not help the poor and Dalits.
Chaudhary who calls himself a “devout Ambedkarite”, said the decision to culminate the yatra on October 2 was not influenced by the fact that it happens to be the Gandhi Jayanti. He also denied that he was in touch with the Congress leaders.
His yatra will start from Parivartan Chowk in Lucknow on September 11 and pass through the districts of Lucknow, Unnao, Kanpur, Hardoi, Sitapur, Kheri, Barabanki, Faizabad, Rae Bareli, Amethi, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur before ending in Allahabad.