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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Project me Dy CM if you want to win Assembly polls: Sanjay Nishad to BJP

The party also warned that in case the BJP fails to do so, it would face “the wrath of the Nishad community” in the 2022 Assembly elections in the state.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
June 24, 2021 5:52:12 am
NISHAD Party chief Sanjay Nishad addresses mediapersons in Lucknow on Wednesday. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Amid the rising political heat in Uttar Pradesh, BJP alliance partner NISHAD Party on Wednesday demanded that its chief Sanjay Nishad be made the deputy chief minister face ahead of the Assembly elections next year.

The party also warned that in case the BJP fails to do so, it would face “the wrath of the Nishad community” in the 2022 Assembly elections in the state.

The party, formed by Sanjay Nishad, claims to have influence over almost 18 per cent of the community’s vote share, including fishermen and boatsmen.

“When our party (NISHAD Party) was formed, the dream of the fishermen community was to see a leader from their community as the leader of the state, so that their issues could be addressed. It is the suggestion of our community that at least the post of deputy chief minister can be given to the NISHAD party, whose voters have helped the BJP to come to power,” Sanjay Nishad told The Indian Express just before his meeting with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow on Wednesday.

Nishad said that the BJP can “see the results” in the coming Assembly elections by making him the Deputy Chief Minister face in Uttar Pradesh.

“It is not a demand. It is just a reminder of what is due and what was promised to the community,” he said.

“If not the chief minister’s post, then going into the elections with me as the deputy chief minister face would benefit the BJP,” he said.

“Members of all castes have become chief ministers and deputy chief ministers in Uttar Pradesh. So, the BJP should announce my name as deputy chief minister face in the state elections. This will make both the BJP and the Nishad Party happy,” Nishad said.

Earlier this month, Nishad met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda in New Delhi. He had then told The Indian Express that his community had been assured of a state Cabinet portfolio earlier, and a failure to meet the promise now would cost his “friend [BJP]” dearly in the coming Assembly elections.

On Wednesday, Nishad reiterated that when his party entered into an alliance with BJP, they were promised several things, including a Rajya Sabha seat or a Cabinet post. “It has been two years since we joined hands with the BJP during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We were told that we would be given a Rajya Sabha seat and a Cabinet post so that we could resolve the issues of the community for which our party was formed… If they (BJP) have to come to power in 2022, then they will have to make the Nishad community happy. They (Nishad community) will not be happy if their sentiments are hurt,” Sanjay Nishad told The Indian Express.

At present, NISHAD Party has one MLA in Uttar Pradesh, while Sanjay Nishad’s son Praveen is a BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar.

“My son was also an MP when he won from the seat of Yogi Adityanath (Gorakhpur) by defeating the BJP in 2018 Lok Sabha bypoll. It was a bigger profile,” said Nishad, adding: “There are 160 Assembly seats (in UP) dominated by Nishad community. They (BJP) would not like to make Nishads unhappy if they want to win.”

After contesting against the BJP as the joint candidate of Opposition Samajwadi Party and BSP in the 2018 Lok Sabha bypoll, the Nishad Party joined hands with the BJP in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which Praveen Nishad was fielded on a BJP ticket from Sant Kabir Nagar.

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