Lucknow, Dec 7: Sensing an opportunity in the dismal showing by BSP in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party is silently working towards weaning away its arch-rival's Dalit vote bank with an eye on the 2017 Assembly polls.
Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP has given a fresh momentum to its Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribes Cell with the appointment of party MLA Subhash Pasi as its president. Pasi has started the process of reconstituting the district and Assembly constituency level committees.
"Though BSP president Mayawati claims to have worked for the welfare of Dalits, barring her own caste the other 17 castes which comprise the scheduled castes have remained by and large neglected all these years and someone will have to think about them," Pasi told PTI.
"Despite her claims, a large number of Dalits feel ignored and neglected because of her unavailability to her supporters and her close confidants creating a wall stalling all kind of interaction with the leadership," he said, adding that his party on the other hand believes that supporters and workers should have an easy access to the leadership.
"I have facilitated meetings of Dalit leaders and delegations with the chief minister and will do the same in future also and these meetings are helping restore the faith of these castes with the Samajwadi Party," Pasi said.
Confidence would be built among the Dalits that their interests and rights will be protected in the party, he said.