Suspended BSP MP Danish Ali in Manipur to join Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra
Ali has been joining opposition ranks in attacking the BJP and its policies, though the Mayawati-led BSP has maintained a distance from both
Lok Sabha MP Danish Ali, who remains suspended by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), on Sunday announced his decision to join the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, saying he would be failing in his duty as a politician if he did not join "biggest drive for unity and justice".
The BSP had suspended Ali last month for "anti-party" activities. Ali had been actively joining opposition ranks in attacking the BJP and its policies even though the Mayawati-led BSP has maintained a distance from the ruling alliance as well as the opposition bloc INDIA.
In a post on X, Ali announced after landing in Imphal that he has decided to join the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. "This is a very important moment for me. I have arrived here after much soul-searching. I had two options either to accept the status quo and ignore the exploitation of Dalits, backwards, tribals, minorities and other marginalised and poor sections, or to launch an all-out campaign against this atmosphere of fear, hate, exploitation and the deepening divide in the country," he said.
"My conscience pushed me to take the second option. Taking this decision came naturally to me as I was myself at the receiving end of a similar attack in Parliament, where swear words were used by a member of the ruling party against me and my religion," the BSP leader said.
Ali drew national attention in September 2023 when BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri used highly derogatory and Islamophobic language against him in Parliament, leading to massive outrage, and the matter was sent to the Parliamentary privileges committee before which the BJP MP apologised. Ali, however, claimed his call for justice and action against the "guilty member of Parliament fell on deaf ears".
"Instead of punishing my attacker, the ruling establishment rewarded him. I have realised that the attack on me was part of a larger plan to create an atmosphere of fear and hate in the country," Ali alleged. "In that hour of distress, Rahul Gandhi ji was the first leader to express solidarity with me and stand by me and my family."
The purpose of Rahul Gandhi's yatra is to get justice for the marginalised and for the exploited sections, Ali said. "This yatra is a call for action against divisive forces. This yatra is a drive to unite the people of our country against fear, hate, exploitation and divisiveness. I have decided to join him in this yatra because I feel I would be failing in my duty as a politician and a social worker if I did not join the biggest drive for unity and justice," the Lok Sabha MP said.
The yatra will traverse 6,713 km, mostly in buses. It will cover 100 Lok Sabha constituencies across 110 districts in 67 days before culminating in Mumbai on 20 or 21 March.