Founder BSP member joins BJP in UP

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Lucknow, Oct 26 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party today received a shot in its arm in Uttar Pradesh when a founder member of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party joined the BJP.

Ramesh Chandra Ratan, a founder Dalit member of the BSP and a close associate of late Kanshi Ram, joined the BJP in the presence of state party president Ramapati Ram Tripathi at the party's state headquarters here.

Mr Ratan had contested Hatras Lok Sabha seat twice on BSP ticket without any success.

Talking to UNI, Mr Ratan said Ms Mayawati has ignored the Dalit issues and now she was only interested in minting money.

''The elephant, which symbolise the upliftment of the poor Dalits, was now taken over by money power,'' he said.

The former BSP leader said Ms Mayawati had also not groomed the Dalit leadership like being done by late Kanshi Ram, which proves that she did not want any other Dalit leader after her.

''I had taken the decision to join the BJP as it was the only party where the Dalits were given honour and respect in the country,'' he added.

BJP state spokesperson Narendra Singh Rana said the joining of Mr Rana would certainly strengthen the party among the Dalits in the state.

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