THE ALL India Yadav Mahasabha — in its 60th convention to be held in New Delhi on March 19 — has decided to demand that an ‘Ahir Regiment’ be constituted exclusively for the Yadavs in the Army.
Jagdish Yadav, a Delhi-based Congress leader and president of All India Yadav Mahasabha’s Delhi unit, is organising the event at Talkatora Stadium.
While Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will be the chief guest at the event, office-bearers of the Mahasabha said several other politicians, including UP ministers Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav, Bihar Deputy CM Tejasvi Yadav and Union ministers like Rao Indrajeet Singh, Bandaru Dattatreya, Ram Kripal Yadav and Hansraj Ahir would attend.
BJP MPs including Poonam Madan and Laxmi Narain are also expected to come.
“Our main demand is that there should be a Ahir regiment exclusively for the Yadavs in the Army. Jawans from our community have sacrificed their lives in the Indo-China and Kargil wars as well as in Akshardham and Parliament attacks. When we are ready to lay down our lives, there should be an exclusive regiment for us,” said Yadav.
He claimed their demand holds ground since the Army already has regiments for Jats, Sikhs and Dogras. “It is in the national interest and we are ready to sacrifice our lives for the country,” said Yadav.
The other demands to be raised at the convention include making public the caste census “so that the actual data of Yadavs can be known”. “At present, the Yadav population in the country is 24 per cent…,” he claimed.
The demand that reservation for OBCs should not be disturbed will also be raised. “These days, we hear statements from the Lok Sabha Speaker and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat regarding the need to review the quota policy. There should be no interference with OBC reservation,” said Yadav.
He added: “Moreover, OBCs living in Delhi are required to submit residence proof since 1993 to get certificates. It should be changed and at the most, three years of residence proof should be required for SCs and STs.”
The Mahasabha, which claimed to be a 92-year-old organisation, is currently headed by Udai Pratap Singh — the chairman of UP Hindi Sansthan. He had also been a teacher of SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav.
When contacted, he said: “The Mahasabha is purely a social and non-political organisation. The demand for Ahir regiment cannot be fulfiled as the Constitution does not allow any caste-based regiment. But there can be a ‘Ahirbara’ regiment, signifying a place. Still during the convention, any state unit can present their demand.”
Yadav, however, claimed his demand is justified. “This is the beginning… Our next target is to hold a rally and show our strength at Ramlila grounds in Delhi,” he added.
Yadav, who had contested last year’s Assembly polls from Delhi’s Rithala seat on a Congress ticket, had held the OBC Commission chairman’s post earlier in the national capital. He also claimed to have served as the Delhi unit president of the Youth Congress.