“Akhilesh does not want Dalit support,” says the head of the Bhim Army.

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“Akhilesh does not want Dalit support,” says the head of the Bhim Army.

According to sources, Akhilesh Yadav offered the Azad Samaj Party three seats, but Chandrashekhar Azad demanded ten, and a compromise could not be reached.

Chandrashekhar Azad, the commander of the Bhim Army, announced on Saturday that his political party, the Azad Samaj Party, would not join forces with the Samajwadi Party in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

Mr Azad told reporters that Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav “does not want Dalit support.”

“Yesterday Akhileshji humiliated us… yesterday Akhileshji humiliated the ‘bahujan samaj,'” Chandrashekhar Azad said, a day after meeting with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to discuss seat-sharing.

According to Nokia News, Akhilesh Yadav offered the Azad Samaj Party three seats, but Chandrashekhar Azad demanded ten, making a compromise impossible.

Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as perhaps the most serious challenger to the ruling BJP in the run-up to the UP election (which begins on February 10).

Mr Yadav has shunned larger parties like the Congress in favor of forming a “rainbow” coalition of regional parties, including Omprakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (which joined the Samajwadi Party last year) and Jayant Chaudhary’s Rashtriya Lok Dal.

He’s also poached BJP leaders with clout among the OBC vote, including (so far) two ministers, Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, who both joined his party yesterday.

Because Mr Yadav’s most loyal voters are Yadavs and Muslims, the BJP’s strategy in 2017 was to win over non-Yadav OBC castes.

This time, the Samajwadi Party’s strategy is to repeat the success by enlisting non-Yadav OBC leaders.

In November, Akhilesh Yadav told Nokia News that a “pincer” movement of disgruntled farmers in the west and a “rainbow alliance” of regional parties in the east would “wipe out the BJP” in the election.

From February 10 to March 10, the UP will vote in seven phases, with results due exactly one month later, on March 10.

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