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Won’t Fight Against Modi If Mayawati, Akhilesh Do: Bhim Army Chief

At the Delhi Hunkar rally, Chandra Shekhar Aazad had announced he is willing to fight against Modi in Varanasi.

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“If respected Behenji (Mayawati), or Akhilesh bhai or even Mulayam Singh ji contest against Narendra Modi in his constituency, then I will not stand against him,” Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad said on Friday, 15 March, hours after he asked his party cadres to support him if he fights the election in Varanasi – Prime Minister Modi’s home turf.

Aazad told The Quint that he’d like the chiefs of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) to fight against Modi because “the ultimate aim is to defeat the BJP,” which he accused of being “anti-Dalit.”

Hours before, while addressing the Delhi Bahujan Hunkar rally, Aazad said, “If I wanted to be an MP, I would have rather fought the elections through a reserved seat. Main neta nehi, Bahujan ka beta banna chahta hoon. Main Modi ko batana chahta hoon ki “koi hai!” (I don’t want to be a politician, rather I want to be a son of the Bahujans. I want to send a message to Modi that he has someone who stands against him!) I want to drive the BJP back to Gujarat.”

At the Delhi Hunkar rally, Chandra Shekhar Aazad had announced he is willing to fight against Modi in Varanasi.
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He then asked his cadres if they will come out and support him in Varanasi. PM Modi had won this constituency seat in 2014 Lok Sabha election with a huge margin but has not yet confirmed if he will fight from the same seat this time. Aazad said, “I will contest against Modi in whichever Uttar Pradesh constituency he is fighting from. Not necessarily Varanasi.”

Until now, the Bhim Army had been saying that it won't contest elections. It had welcomed the SP-BSP alliance in the state and said it would support anyone who's ready to take on the BJP and fight for Dalit rights.

However, Aazad’s intentions to back out from the fight against Modi in case Akhilesh or Mayawati stand against him seemed contradictory when he told some other reporters that if he could support the SP-BSP alliance in 79 seats, then why could they not extend the same support to him for one seat.

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‘Modi Washed Feet of Dalit Sanitation Workers as He is Scared’

Aazad said the chances of Narendra Modi losing the upcoming elections have become clearer since he was seen washing the feet of sanitation workers who worked at the Kumbh Mela. “This means he is now scared,” he added.

‘No Alliance With Congress’

Brushing off the speculations of a Congress-Bhim Army alliance, Aazad said, “There can be no alliance. I have been fighting for Bahujan samaj and will always do so.”

On Wednesday, 13 March, after Aazad was admitted to a hospital in Meerut following a stand-off with the Uttar Pradesh police for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct during a rally, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi had paid him a visit, sparking off the conjecture. She was accompanied by Jyotiraditya Scindia, the general secretary for UP West, and party leader Raj Babbar at the hospital.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Priyanka Gandhi said:

“He is a young man who is struggling and raising his voice, but this government is trying to suppress his voice. I am here because I like his energy and the way he raises (his) voice for the youth.”
Priyanka Gandhi, as quoted by ANI
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Aazad Clarifies on His ‘Will Repeat Bhima-Koregaon’ Comment

At the rally organised to mark the 85th birth anniversary of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram, the Bhim Army reminded the gathering to vote keeping in mind the various atrocities against Dalits. He said, “A tyrant is a tyrant, he can never become your well-wisher.”

“That’s why I say we will repeat Bhima Koregaon. The need has not arisen yet, but the day the country’s Constitution is under threat, we will repeat Bhima Koregaon.”
Chandra Shekhar Azad

Later, clarifying his remarks, he told reporters, that he did not mean to incite violence.

The Chandra Shekhar Aazad-led group shot to limelight during the May 2017 clashes between Dalits and upper caste Thakurs in Saharanpur.

Aazad was arrested after the clashes. Though he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court, the UP Police arrested him under the stringent National Security Act. He was released in September 2018 after 16 months in jail.

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