Prayagraj: April 16: The Nishad Party will lay the foundation for the 180-ft tall statue of Nishadraj, the king of Nishads, at Nishadraj Fort in Shringverpur here.
According to mythology, Nishadraj was a friend and host of Lord Ram and had helped him cross the river while he was in exile.
The party is now keen to revive the glory of Nishadraj and make its political presence felt.
Nishad Party president, Sanjay Nishad, said, “Nishad Party is making people aware about the event. The first phase of panchayat elections is over and people are also free of agricultural work. The event will be held on April 17 to mark the birth anniversary of Nishadraj. He was born on Chaitra Shukl Panchmi and was four days older than Lord Ram.”
The Nishad Party has also planned a ‘bullet yatra’ (motorcycle rally) and a ‘padyatra’ to mark the occasion.
The foundation laying for Nishadraj’s statue will also mark the start of party’s campaign for state assembly elections due next year.
The party has been celebrating the birth anniversary of Nishadraj since 2013.
To bring Nishad community under one roof, the Rashtriya Nishad Ekta Parishad was formed in Gorakhpur in January 2013.
Nishad (Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal) Party was registered in August 2016 and contested UP assembly elections for the first time in 2017.
The party caters to non-Yadav OBCs and has a following among those who find themselves a misfit in politics centred around upper castes, Dalits and Yadavs.
That Nishads have emerged into a consolidated chunk of voters in UP is clear from the fact that every political party wants to win them over.
In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP-BSP-RLD combine wanted Nishad Party as an ally but the deal could not be sealed and the party aligned with BJP.
However, Nishads are now upset with the BJP government for not fulfilling its promise to accord SC status to the community.
The Congress recently launched the ‘Nadi Adhikar Yatra’ from Prayagraj to Ballia to focus on the problems of boatmen and woo the community. However, the yatra received a very lukewarm response.
“Political parties have also been using Nishads as their foot soldiers. It is high time that the community withdrew its support from these political parties and become powerful on its own,” said Sanjay Nishad. (IANS)