Young Dalit leader and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan has announced his candidature against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh. He also held a road show on Saturday in the city and declared that “ the countdown for Modi’s defeat has begun”.
Mr Azad also accused Modi of waiving billion of rupees loans of the rich and harassing the poor and small borrowers, besides snatching jobs of more than two crores youth.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, though, suspects a conspiracy behind Azad’s contest against Modi. She thinks Azad is aiming at helping the BJP. She said the formation of Bhim Army itself was a BJP’s conspiracy to divide Dalit votes, reflecting the castiest mindset of the saffron party.
Incidentally, Mayawati’s BSP has been founded on a strong Dalit votary.
A former Border Security Force (BSF) soldier has also expressed his desire to contest against Narendra Modi. Tej Bahadur Yadav from Rewari in Haryana was dismissed from service in 2017, following a video showing poor quality food served to BSF soldiers went viral.
“I had raised the issue of corruption but I was sacked. My first objective will be to strengthen and eliminate corruption in the forces,” he told reporters on Saturday.
At the same, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra recently retorted, “Why not from Varanasi?” when the media asked her if she was contesting the April-May Lok Sabha polls and which would be the likely seats for her contest.
It would be interesting to see how many more will join the fray against Prime Minister Modi and if any of them would be able give a fight.
In 2014, Narendra Modi had five opponents initially. But Samajwadi Pary candidate pledged his support to Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. Modi garnered over 5,80,00 votes, and defeated Kejriwal by over 3,70,000 votes. BSP candidate secured over 60,000 votes and the Congress over 75,000 votes.