Vocal Dalit leader in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Azad Samaj Party (Kanshiram) chief Chandra Shekhar Azad will fight the assembly election from the Gorakhpur Sadar seat against chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
“Taking forward the ‘Bahujan Hitaay-Bahujan Sukhaay’ ideology of Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and Kanshiram sahib, the Azad Samaj Party (Kanshiram) is announcing Chandra Shekhar Azad as a candidate from Gorakhpur Sadar (322) seat,” in a statement released on social media platforms, ASP (K) said.
In response, Azad tweeted, “Thank you very much! I have fought for the last five years also. I will continue to fight. Jai Bhim, Jai Mandal. Bahujan Hitaay – Bahujan Sukhaay (for the happiness of the many, for the welfare of the many).”
Yogi Adityanath is running for MLA for the first time. This will also be Chandrashekhar Azad’s first election.
The Gorakhpur Sadar assembly seat has been with the Hindu nationalist party continuously since 1989.
Last week, Azad declared that his party would not tie-up with the Samajwadi Party, after his seat share talks with Akhilesh Yadav collapsed.
Azad had co-founded the Dalit rights group Bhim Army in 2015 and has been its national president ever since. He further launched the ASP (K) in March 2020 and became its chief.
ASP (K)’s national core committee member Mohammad Aqib told PT news agency that the registered name of the party is Aazad Samaj Party (Kanshiram). Kanshi Ram, also known as Bahujan Nayak or Manyavar or Saheb, was the founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party. He ceded leadership of the BSP to his protégé Mayawati who has served four terms as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.