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Yogendra Makwana quits Congress, floats new political party

Dalit leader from Gujarat, Yogendra Makwana, on Saturday floated a new outfit `National Bahujan Congress`.

New Delhi, Nov 15: Dalit leader from Gujarat, Yogendra Makwana, who was removed by Congress as the head of the party`s scheduled castes department after he demanded a probe into cash-for tickets allegations by Margaret Alva, on Saturday floated a new outfit `National Bahujan Congress`.
"Party tickets are being sold and purchased in the Congress. It is no longer the same Congress when its leaders were Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi," Makwana alleged after assuming charge as the President of the new political party.

The former Union Minister had incurred the wrath of the Congress high command for quite some time and his statement demanding a probe into the charges of Alva that tickets for Karnataka Assembly election were sold, cost him the post.

The 75-year-old charged that a "coterie", whose only agenda was self-promotion, surrounds Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

"A reluctant new and inexperienced Sonia Gandhi and innocent Rahul Gandhi were over-powered and surrounded by a group of flattering foes whose only agenda was self promotion," he alleged, adding deserving leaders have been sidelined.

Makwana, who was a minister in the Cabinets of both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, alleged that the new creed of the party has only the agenda of "capturing power at any cost" and this resulted in the Congress loosing base in all sections.

He charged that the party had lost the support of the weaker sections due to poor budget allocation for the SCs, STs, minorities and OBC.

Endorsing former Congress General Secretary Alva`s statement that tickets were being sold in the party, he claimed that he came across a case in Madhya Pradesh where a ticket was sold for Rs 5 crore.

"There are several instances of tickets being sold for money in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Even the Presidents of the SC Cells of the party in various states were denied ticket due to monetary considerations," Makwana claimed.

"Why isn`t the Congress investigating the charges of money changing hands for tickets?" he asked, while asserting that his party will "represent the poor and downtrodden unlike Congress which is a party of the rich".

Makwana, replying to a query, said he was open to an alliance with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party.

Bureau Report