In an unexpected move, the Nishad Party has distanced itself from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh and said that it will contest the upcoming panchayat polls on its own.
Nishad (Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal) Party President Sanjay Nishad told IANS on Sunday that the BJP failed to fulfil the promises made to his party on ensuring reservation for the Nishad community under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category.
“We are ready with our ‘charcha’ (debate) and ‘parcha’ (pamphlet) for the upcoming elections,” he said.
Sanjay Nishad further said that there were 166 Assembly seats where the Nishad community has a sizeable presence.
“Our demand for reservation is justified and I do not know why the BJP is not addressing the issue. If they want our support, they should give us reservation,” he said.
The Nishad community includes sub-castes like Kevat, Mallah and Bind.
The Nishad Party had joined hands with the BJP in 2019.
It been fighting for regrouping of 17 OBC communities under the SC category but the matter has been caught in a legal battle.
The Nishad Party has embarked on a campaign to get over one crore signatures in support of their long pending demand for granting the SC status to the Nishad community and is sending the letters to the Prime Minister.
Along with the signature campaign, the party has also launched a membership drive to garner support from not only Nishads, but other communities too.
“MPs are people’s representatives. Now, people are asking when will the promise be fulfilled. We want reservation and SC certificate for fishermen and other castes. When chief minister Yogi Adityanath was an MP, he had advocated reservation for the community in Parliament,” Sanjay Nishad told IANS.
Incidentally, Sanjay Nishad’s son Praveen Nishad is a sitting BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar
The Nishad Party is the second political outfit to distance itself from the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
In 2019, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) had snapped ties.
The SBSP Rajbhar-centric party and has now formed an alliance with AIMIM and other smaller outfits called the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha.
Nishad Party was formed in August 2016 with the objective to get SC status to Nishad community.
Despite being a fringe player, the party now aspires to make its presence felt in the national political scene.