Thirty-six years after Kanshi Ram floated the Bahujan Samaj Party, his sister Sarwan Kaur is set to join Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar's newly floated Azad Samaj Party (ASP) in a major blow to the BSP-led by Mayawati.
Seen as an upcoming alternative to the Mayawati-led BSP, ASP is expected to induct sister of BSP's founder Kanshi Ram as Patron of the party.
Mayawati's BSP has lost back to back elections in its home ground Uttar Pradesh. Many feel the Bahujan Samaj Party that was founded on the birth anniversary of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar on April 14, 1984, by Kanshi Ram, who named former schoolteacher, Mayawati, as his successor in 2001 is not what it used to be.
According to a source close to the Bhim Army chief, Chandrashekhar has already left for Punjab for the same and the induction ceremony of Kanshi Ram's sister Sarwan Kaur is expected to happen on Monday afternoon at an undisclosed location there.
Kaur has been a vocal critic of Mayawati. Kaur had even gone ahead and accused Mayawati of murdering her brother to hijack the movement started by him.
"Kanshi Ram was a leader for you but he was a brother for me. Mayawati backstabbed him and destroyed his movement. She murdered him," Kaur said for the first time in 2015 since then she has been working in Punjab. She also extended her support on various occasions to leaders and parties that she claimed are aligned with Kanshi Ram's ideology.
"Chandrashekhar has been inviting her as a speaker in various protests and public meeting of the Bhim Army and now with Azad floating his party, Sarwan Ji was the best to lead us," a senior functionary in the Bhim Army and close associate of Chandrashekhar said.
The exact post for Kaur is not known but many in the party say she would be inducted as 'Sanrakshak' (Patron) or 'Sanyojak' (Convenor) to suit her seniority and also to pay her respect for her struggle during these years.
Chandrashekhar was one of the most prominent faces of countrywide protests against the citizenship law, and on Sunday he launched his political group, which he called the "Azad Samaj Party".
The launch took place on the birth anniversary of BSP founder and Dalit icon Kanshi Ram. The Bhim Army, Azad said, will run parallel to the party and continue to fight for Dalit rights and enrol new members.
The party flag is a white band between two blue stripes, with Azad Samaj Party written in the middle.