Azad Samaj Party and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad shared the stage with Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav at a meeting during the Rampur bypoll’s campaign Thursday, hinting at a new political alignment in Uttar Pradesh.
Talking to The Indian Express before the event, Azad said “my main objective is to ensure a united Opposition to take on the BJP”.
Asked if he was joining hands with the SP-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance in the state, he said: “I am fighting for democracy and the Constitution. I am against the notion that the Opposition is fighting amongst itself. The Opposition is coming together to fight communal forces.”
Azad, who has been in Rampur for a couple of days, sat next to Akhilesh, and SP leader Azam Khan at the meeting. In the bypoll, which will be held on December 5. Khan’s confidant Asim Raja will take on the BJP’s Akash Saxena.
Asked if he came to Rampur on the SP’s invitation, Azad said, ‘Whenever there is an attack on the Constitution, I will be there. I have good relations with Azam bhai. I tried to meet him in jail too, but was not allowed to.”
Alleging that the election was not being held “fairly”, Azad said: “We have seen in Lok Sabha (bypoll) too. An atmosphere of fear has been created here. An effort is being made to influence the election result. When I was told that the situation in Rampur is not good, I came here personally and checked.”
After “holding meetings with the Bahujan community” and “speaking to workers,” Azad said “he got to know the kind of injustice being to ensure a low voting percentage.”
“Anyone who does campaigning for the Opposition is booked in cases. This makes it clear that the BJP is scared. If the BJP cannot face democracy and the people’s mandate, they should get the Election Commission to declare their candidate as the winner. Why are we having elections then?”
He added: “Half of the BJP is here. The CM is going to Khatauli (where a bypoll is scheduled) and talking of Rampur. This makes it clear that they will lose here.”
In the public meeting, Azad challenged the BJP to “hold a fair election in Rampur”. He said that “for the number of votes the BJP would prevent from being cast, the same number of votes will be given by my people on each booth to teach BJP a lesson.”
“I will not complain to them (police), which belongs to the government. I am saying this because I have heard this from our workers. People are being stopped after checking their (party) flags, caste, name,” Azad said.
Asked if he will campaign in Mainpuri too, where a bypoll will be held along with Rampur, he said “he did not have a lot of time due to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls”.
“I will go there if time permits. I have to give it another day in Khatauli. Because the Bahujan samaj has a decisive vote there.”