Odisha district starts strik­ing off Bangladeshis from vot­ers’ list

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati said here on Sun­day that she would en­ter into a pre-poll al­liance with SP only if her party got a re­spectable num­ber of seats. Oth­er­wise, her party was fully ca­pa­ble of go­ing it alone. She also snubbed Bhim Army founder Chan­drashekhar Azad, deny­ing any as­so­ci­a­tion with him, just two days af­ter he had re­ferred to Mayawati as his ‘bua’ (aunt) while say­ing that the two have the “same blood” as both are Dal­its.

Azad re­sponded to Mayawati’s at­tack say­ing her con­cerns were not valid as his out­fit was nei­ther plan­ning to con­test elec­tions in 2019 nor look­ing for any po­lit­i­cal al­liance. “If she said that she is not any­one’s ‘bua’ (aunt) and she only wants to help the Dalit so­ci­ety, then am I not part of the same sa­maj? When I call her ‘buaji’ and say that she and I are the same blood, I mean it. All Dal­its are my fam­ily. My bat­tle is for their re­demp­tion. I want to tell ‘buaji’ that my bat­tle is not to up­stage any po­lit­i­cal out­fit, in­clud­ing BSP, or fight Lok Sabha polls in 2019,” he told TOI.

Talk­ing to re­porters at her new 9 Mall Av­enue house here, Mayawati said: “I will be com­pelled to go for it alone if BSP does not get a re­spectable num­ber of seats in the anti-BJP al­liance that is shap­ing up be­fore the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.” “Our party is not against the al­liance, but our stand is very clear that we will ally with a po­lit­i­cal party only if we get a re­spectable share of seats. Oth­er­wise, our party feels it is bet­ter to con­test the elec­tions alone,” she said.

In the same breath she re­it­er­ated that the ef­fort of the op­po­si­tion par­ties will be to stop BJP from com­ing to power at any cost in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as well as as­sem­bly elec- Ken­dra­para (Odisha): With the EC car­ry­ing out re­vi­sion of vot­ers’ list, the district ad­min­is­tra­tion in Odisha’s Ken­dra­para has started dis­en­fran­chis­ing sus­pected Bangladeshis whose names fig­ured in the list of elec­torates, of­fi­cials said on Sun­day. The coastal district has 1,649 Bangladeshi set­tlers. Ma­hakalpada tehsil alone houses 1,551. of them.So far, 137 Bangladeshis have been de­tected in Ma­hakalpada tehsil’s list. Af­ter thor­ough ver­i­fi­ca­tion of their na­tiv­ity an­tecedents, they have been re­moved from the list, said Ken­dra­para district col­lec­tor Dasarathi Sat­pa­thy. The vot­ers list re­vi­sion process will con­tinue till Septem­ber 27. Of­fi­cials en­gaged in the ex­er­cise have been asked to en­sure that none of these for­eign na­tion­als find place in the fi­nal list, Sat­pa­thy said. tions in Ra­jasthan, MP and Ch­hat­tis­garh later this year. Hit­ting out at Azad, Mayawati said there were some who were un­nec­es­sar­ily try­ing to es­tab­lish a “bhai-ba­hen” or “buab­hatija” re­la­tion­ship with her for their “po­lit­i­cal ben­e­fits”.

“The per­son who was re­leased re­cently by BJP has been try­ing to cover his short­com­ings by try­ing to un­nec­es­sary es­tab­lish a re­la­tion­ship with me by call­ing me ‘bua’. I would like to tell such peo­ple that I can never have a whole-hearted or a re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ship with them,” Mayawati said, re­fer­ring to Azad.

Crit­i­cis­ing him for form­ing Bhim Army, she said if peo­ple were her gen­uine sym­pa­this­ers and of the Dalit cause, there was no need for them to form sep­a­rate or­gan­i­sa­tions and they should have joined BSP.

Azad as­serted that de­spite Mayawati’s re­marks, his re­spect for her would not di­min­ish. The grow­ing feel­ing in the Bhim Army is that Mayawati was play­ing hard­ball with Congress and SP and may have opened a line with BJP af­ter the re­lease of Azad.

The tim­ing of Azad’s re­lease is be­ing seen by po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tors in UP as a wellorches­trated strat­egy by BJP to test strength of alliances in UP at a time when the re­sult of Phulpur, Go­rakh­pur, Noor­pur and Kairana by­polls have given aboost to SP, BSP and RLD. “We will sup­port all par­ties look­ing to drive BJP out of UP and help us fight against atroc­i­ties against Dal­its,” said Azad.

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