Six-time independent MLA from Kunda constituency Raghuraj Pratap Singh, also known as Raja Bhaiyya, Friday said he will float a new party opposed to reservation in promotions and the “draconian” provisions of the SC/ST Act.
“The Election Commission will take around two to two-and-half months to finish the formalities. The three optional names for the party are Jansatta Dal, Jansatta Party and Jansatta Loktantrik Party. Once all the formalities are done, we will form the working committee and release the manifesto,” he said. It will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections next year as well, he added.
“There are a few problems that affect all of us, but for some reasons the politicians are not taking the issues up. All the parties are like that. We all know that the SC/ST Act was made effective during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure and with time it has become complicated. Today it is sad that people talk about the SC/ST Act, citizens are facing problems, but there is neither a discussion in the Vidhan Sabha nor in the Parliament on this,” Singh said.
“The Dalit community is an inseparable part of us. They cannot progress if they are separated treated differently from the rest of the society. There is no need to give the benefit of reservation to the sons and daughters of Dalit officers or employees who have already taken the benefit of reservation and are financially strong. This benefit should rather go to those who actually need it,” he added.
Singh has been a minister in state governments headed by Akhilesh Yadav, Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh. He has faced 48 cases and has been the state’s prisons minister in the Samajwadi Party government.
“Going by the fundamental principle of equality, whether it is a heinous crime like rape or murder, Dalits are being treated differently and given compensation by the government while the general public and the upper castes are left out,” he said.
Raising the issue of reservation in promotion, he said that the practice discourages youths. The basis should only be talent and seniority and not caste and community, Singh said. Asked if his party aimed to woo the upper castes that may be unhappy with the ruling BJP, he said he has the support of people belonging to different castes and sections of society.
(With PTI inputs)