Bheem Army chief Chandrashekhar Raavan is believed to be working to develop a Dalit-Muslim equation in the region to ensure the defeat of BJP in the 2019 parliamentary election. His recent meeting with some Muslim leaders is seen to be a step in the direction of building up his base among Muslims.
Shortly after his release from jail after 15 months on 14 September morning, Chandrashekhar got a warm welcome not only from his supporters, primarily Dalits, but also many political and social personalities who came to meet him at his home in Chutmalpur town of Saharanpur district. They included some Muslim leaders as well.
Leaders from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Umar Khalid and Nadeem, came to meet Chandrasekhar. This was followed by a meeting with Arshad Madni, president of Jamiat Ulema E Hind.
Chandrashekhar had gone to Deoband to meet Madni where a closed door half-hour meeting took place between the duo. He also spent some time with Khalid. The Muslim leaders, however, said no political inferences should be drawn from these meetings as these were just courtesy calls. But political observers are speculating on this new found friendship between the rising dalit icon of Saharanpur and Muslim leaders.
Chandrashekhar also met the influential Congress leader and former MP Imraan Masood shortly after his release. He thanked Masood for extending his support to him when he was in jail. Masood had supported the demand for Chandrashekher’s release when he was in jail
Ismail Ahmed, PFI (Popular Front of India) leader, was also among those who had come to meet Chandrashekhar. It is believed that the Bheem Army chief wants to build up a dalit-Muslim equation before the 2019 Lok Sabha election and reap its advantage as the Bahujan Samaj Party had done in the past.
Shortly after his release from Saharanpur jail, Chandrashekhar Vowed to work to ensure the defeat of the BJP and bring together all those who are exploited . He had also said he would do everything to strengthen the Opposition alliance and work towards BJP’s defeat as was done in Kairana where too the Dalit Muslim equation had worked .
During his welcome programme in Gangoh town of Saharanpur on Wednesday, Chandrashekhar announced that the Bheem Army will not contest the election but would prepare a force to support the alliance against BJP.
Chandrashekhar will now travel the length and breadth of the country and garner support of individuals, groups and organisations. He went to Punjab on Thursday where he will visit Dera Sachkhand and Valmiki Tirth to seek blessings. Bheem Army`s district president Kamal Walia said he will remain there for about 4 days and meet people there.