Azad Samaj Party (ASP) chief Chandrashekhar Azad Saturday claimed that Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav “insulted” him and announced that his party will not forge an alliance with SP for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.
In a press conference, Azad said discussions on a possible tie-up went on for more than a month. The ASP leader further said that they are likely to contest the election on their own if the “divided” Opposition is not united.
“After discussions for a month and 10 days, I realised, in the end, that Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t need Dalits. In this alliance, he doesn’t have space for Dalit leadership. He just wants Dalits to vote for them. I follow the principles of Kashiram who made Netaji the leader. It was apprehension among all of us that what if Dalits have to go through exploitation once their party comes to power. In the last two days, the Bahujan society has been insulted,” said Azad.
He also claimed that there is a deadlock on several issues, including that of promotion of reservation for Dalits and backward classes. While ASP wanted a concrete reservation plan, SP did not agree to it, Azad said.
“Dalits, Pasmandas and all other marginalised and backward classes are supporting Akhilesh because they believe that social justice will be done. I now feel that Akhilesh has not yet understood the meaning of social justice,” said Azad.
He further said that in the last five years, Akhilesh did not visit the house of any Dalit victim. Despite this, ASP extended their support and expected Akhilesh to respond like an “elder brother”.
Samajwadi Party, Congress and BSP have so far released their first lists of candidates. Since last year, ASP has been open for a larger alliance in order to defeat BJP and is likely to contest on its own if the talks with other parties fall through.