Ex-BSP MLA Dhirendra Prasad joins Congress

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Lucknow, Mar 6 (PTI) Former BSP MLA and Dalit leader Dhirendra Prasad joined the Congress along with his supporters here on Saturday.

He joined the party in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu, and expressed faith in the values and ideology of the party under Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and national general secretary and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi.

Prasad, former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA from Puyawan in Shahjahanpur district, said Congress was “fighting the real battle of Dalits, backward and underprivileged”.

'Congress and Priyanka ji are fighting the real battle of Dalits, backward and underprivileged, and today the Jatav society is feeling completely betrayed by BSP and Mayawati,” he said.

Talking to reporters, Lallu said Prasad’s coming in the party fold will further strengthen the ongoing struggle led by Priyanka Gandhi to 'save the country, democracy and constitution', and for the welfare of the exploited and deprived sections of society.

He said people have become completely disenchanted with non-Congress parties, including the BJP, and a large number of public representatives and youth are increasingly aligning with the Congress.

Lallu also cited the 'Nadi Adhikar Yatra' organised by the Congress from Baswar, Allahabad to Ballia Majhi Ghat for the rights of “Nishad brothers and fishermen”.

During the Congress rule, the Nishad community was given the right to natural produce from rivers, drains, pokharas, lakes, soil and sand, but their rights were snatched away during the non-Congress governments. Taking this trend forward, the BJP has taken away the rights of the Nishad community on rivers, streams and soil, he alleged.

“Today big companies are looting the minerals of rivers, and when the Nishad community opposed it, the BJP government took brutal action and beat them up. This government should know that those who have been beaten up will destroy their pride and overthrow them in the coming elections,” the Congress leader added.