Emphasizing the need for a Dalit-Muslim unity, the Bhim Army on Thursday said Muslims have been "cheated" by their leaders and should choose their candidates carefully in 2019.
"Muslims have been sidelined by those leaders and parties for whom they have been voting till now," Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekar told news agency PTI.
"Muslims should understand where their interest lies. They should set a benchmark to see if those they have been voting for are really working for them. Their interest lies with Dalits. I think if there is social harmony between them, no politician will be able to divide them. Both sections have remained deprived for long. I realise their weakness and tell them where their interest lies," he added," he said
Recalling Muslims' "historical support" to BR Ambedkar, Chandrasehkar said, "We will try to give leadership to Muslims and take Bhim Army forward. If there is social harmony, there will be no riots," he said.
Chandrashekar made it clear that Bhim Army will not contest the Lok Sabha polls and will support a candidate fielded jointly by the Opposition against the BJP.
"I am neither going to constitute any party, nor contest elections. We will make 'Bahujan Samaj' aware of the past and unite them against the BJP," he said, batting for a strong Muslim-Dalit alliance under the BSP Mayawati's leadership.
Chandrashekhar was released from jail in September after the Uttar Pradesh government revoked National Security Act (NSA) against him.