One of the founding members of the Bahujan Samaj Party and close aide of party founder Kansiram, Rajbahadur was the party’s first president in Uttar Pradesh. He played a pivotal role in the organizations like Backward and Minority Communities

Employees' Federation (BAMSEF), DS-4 and Buddhist Research Center (BRC). Along with Kanshiram, Rajbahadur used to travel across the state on bicycle to mobilize the Dalits. After the formation of party in 1984, he was made the BSP’s first state president.

He was inducted into the BSP-SP alliance government in 1993 as the Social Welfare Minister. However, he was not a member of state assembly at that time. With series of confrontation with Mayawati, he quit the party and joined Samajwadi Party and later Congress to sustain in politics. He regrets that his mission of bringing changes in lives of Dalits went in vain. He spoke exclusively to Dainik Jagran. The excerpts:

Q: Are you happy to see the BSP’s dream coming true?

A: The dream did not realize. In fact it shattered.

Q: Kanisram used to say that he wished Dalits to hold the key to power and his wish has been fulfilled.

A: Dalits never got the key to power, rather their votes were traded and they have become a mere vote bank.

Q: As the BSP came to power in the state, the party started to sideline you. What is the reason behind this?

A: Mayawati was not in the scene during party’s struggle. But once the party came to power, leaders started to lobby hard to grab the coveted post, and founding members of the party were shown the door.

Q: When you quit the party, Kansiram was alive. Why didn’t he interfere in retaining the genuine leaders in the party’s fold?

A: He (Kansiram) was misled. All his supporters were shown the door. He became too weak politically to oppose the wrong decisions taken by Mayawati.

Q: How far has the party moved away from its ideology?

A: In those days, the BSP was the cadre based party. Today, no cadre enjoys respect in the party. If you pay hefty amount to party high command, you will get ticket as well ministerial post.

Q: What used to be the criteria for distributing tickets in the early days?

A: The people, who were working for mission, got tickets. There was a slogan of One Vote - One Note in those days.

Q: The BSP still enjoys the support of Dalits?

A: No, it’s not like that. 2009 Lok Sabha clearly reflects the erosion in party’s Dalit vote bank. You can see the example of Barabanki Parliamentary constituency where BSP candidate lost to Congress candidate PL Punia in 2009.

Q: What’s the reason behind this erosion?

A: Mayawati is neither missionary nor worked for the mission. She was not instrumental in the formation of party. The BSP aimed at giving due representation to the Dalits in the power. In was believed that if Mayawat assumes the power, the huge gap between the rich and the poor will be bridged. In contrary, the BSP ministers misused the funds meant for Dalit uplift.

Q: What was Kansiram’s thinking?

A: He believed in “No Family, No Property”. He worked for the mission and never indulged in making property for family.

Q: In this elections too, the BSP is claiming to form the government with absolute majority.

A: No win-win situation for the BSP this time.