Kanshi Ram’s brother with Cong, sister indifferent - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Kanshi Ram’s brother with Cong, sister indifferent


Kanshi Ram’s brother with Cong, sister indifferent

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Khuaspura (Anandpur Sahib), May 16

The family of BSP founder Kanshi Ram has been sidelined by the party, but they remain vote-seekers amongst the Dalits for other political parties. While one part of the Dalit leader’s family living in this village has extended support to Congress candidate Manish Tewari, other siblings of the iconic Dalit leader have decided against “being used by politicians during elections”. 

BSP chief Mayawati, who came to support her three party candidates (contesting on Anandpur Sahib, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar seats) at Nawanshahr recently, neither invited her mentor’s family, nor went to meet them. Kanshi Ram’s sister, Swaran Kaur, who lives in Pirthipur village near here, was earlier being projected by the Bhim Army to contest on a BSP ticket. However, she refused saying “the party has gone in wrong hands”. 

“I support BSP as a party because it was established by my veerji. But I am not supporting any party. They just want to capitalise on my brother’s political legacy and sway voters in his name,” she told The Tribune. Before the 2017 Assembly elections, she was approached by AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, but she declined his offer. 

Anandpur Sahib constituency has a sizeable Dalit population, estimated to be above 10% of the total voters. The family of the  Dalit leader still holds a sway amongst this segment of voters, which is the reason for the politicians’ scramble to get the family on their side. Though the total vote share of the BSP in Punjab in 2014 Lok Sabha polls was just 1.9%, the BSP candidate from Anandpur Sahib, KS Makhan, had got over 69,000 votes.

In 2014 General Election, Kanshi Ram’s younger brother, Dalbara Singh, had extended support to Akali Dal candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra, who won the seat. This time, Dalbara Singh has extended support to the Congress candidate. 

The BSP has fielded Sodhi Vikram Singh, a businessman, from this constituency.  On day he filed his nomination, he started his procession from Sri Kanshi Ram Community Hall here, but since then has not met the family.  

Sitting in his humble residence here, surrounded by portraits of Kanshi Ram, including some pictures of the leader with Mayawati, Dalbara Singh says: “We do not have a cordial relationship with Mayawati, and we will not side with the party till she seeks our forgiveness.” 

Kanshi Ram’s family has been daggers drawn with BSP supremo Mayawati since Kanshi Ram’s death in 2006. Such is the enmity that Dalbara Singh had floated his own party in 2008 (Bahujan Sangharsh Party) and also fielded candidates in UP, but the outfit fizzled out soon. 

At Khuaspura, the youngsters only know of Kanshi Ram through the fables they have heard from the family elders. Only two symbols of Kanshi Ram’s legacy here are a blue elephant shaped (symbol of BSP) water tank atop the house of Dalbara Singh and a community hall named after him. Over the years, the family too seems to have gone into quiet oblivion, to be remembered by politicians and used to woo vote bank only during election time. 

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