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Will Paswan be an alternative to Mayawati in UP?
Sanjay Pandey in Lucknow | October 13, 2006 10:00 IST
Buoyed by the success of his recent rallies in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan is now trying to project himself as an alternative to Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.
Paswan is seeking to drive home the point to Dalits that Mayawati had "deviated" from the ideals and principles of her mentor late Kanshi Ram.
BSP's attempt to woo the upper caste Brahmin community by holding a series of meetings in parts of the state recently has not gone well with the Dalits, Lok Janshakti Party state general secretary and spokesman Rajkumar Ojha told PTI in Lucknow.
The change of heart is aimed at garnering the votes of the Brahmins so that her party is able to increase its tally in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state due early next year, Ojha said.
"In the attempt to bring Brahmins and Dalits closer, the latter find themselves on the sidelines as they find it difficult to digest the new theory," he said.
Ojha said Paswan had been concentrating mainly on sub-castes among the Dalits like Pasi, Rajbhar, Khatik and Valmiki to wean them away from Mayawati.
The LJP president had been holding a series of public meetings in the run up to the next Assembly elections in the state.
The western region has already been covered and now the rallies are being held in the eastern region, which was more backward, Ojha said.
He said Dalit sub-castes were in substantial numbers in the eastern districts.