Former Minister in BSP Govt joins Indian Justice party

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) An ex-Minister of the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party Government in Uttar Pradesh, R D Gautam today joined the Indian Justice party along with hundreds of his supporters.

A hardcore missionary of the BSP earlier, Mr Gautam, who was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 1993 and later inducted as Minister for Rural Development and Area development, left the party as he was not satisfied with the working of the Mayawati Government.

Mr Gautam alleged that under the Mayawati regime, Ministers and MLAs were hardly given any power to work effectively.

''During Mayawati's rule, the Ministers and MLAs were not given importance of even a PCS officer. As Chief Minister, Mayawati used to pass instructions to senior officers not to oblige any BSP leaders including MLAs and Ministers if they ask for anything,'' Gautam said.

He said there were no ideological discussions and the party had hardly anything to do with the ideology of Dr Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Shahuji Maharaj and Ramaswamy Periyar.

''One of the reasons for my joining the Indian Justice party is to honour Periyar by installing his statue on April 14,''said Mr Gautam, who has been appointed the National General Secretary of the IJP.

Mr Gautam, said he was joining the IJP as it is an alternative of BSP and was committed to the ideology of the upliftment of dalits, poor and women.

Another leader who joined the Indian Justice Party today was former general secretary of the UP Congress SC/ST Cell, Mehar Chand Nautiyal.

Mr Nautiyal has been appointed as National Secretary of the IJP and given the organisational responsibilities for Western UP, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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