National

Ex-IPS officer Praveen Kumar joins BSP

K. V. Kurmanath | | Updated on: Aug 08, 2021
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BSP’s rise could upset KCR’s plan to woo Dalit voters

RS Praveen Kumar, the IPS officer who took voluntary retirement last month, has joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) at a well-attended public meeting held at Nalgonda. He joined the party in the presence of its National Coordinator, Ramji Gautam.

Addressing the gathering on Sunday evening, Praveen Kumar said it was time ‘Dalits and Bahujans strive to achieve political power’ in the State.

‘Impact on entry’

With a good following among the Dalit youth and intellectuals, Praveen Kumar is likely to cut into the Dalit vote bank of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress. YSR Telangana Party, which is set up recently by late Congress leader YS Rajasekhara Reddy, too will be impacted by his political entry.

Though the BSP has been around in the State, it couldn’t make much impact, owing to strengths of the TRS, Congress and BJP. But Praveen Kumar’s could give the BSP some ammunition as he’s connected well to the Dalit youth.

Praveen Kumar headed Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) and Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions (TTWREIS) for about 10 years.

His stint marked revival of the welfare schools, with scores of students excelling in academics and in sports. He, however, faces severe criticism for his alleged excesses against the Naxalites during his stint as a police officer in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Praveen Kumar’s move might also impact Telangana Chief Minister and TRS President K Chandrashekar Rao’s plans to woo Dalit votes in the State by launching Dalit Bandhu that seeks to give a financial assistance to ₹10 lakh each to Dalit families.

“You could do much more to equip them with skills and open more educational institutions to develop Dalits,” Praveen Kumar had said, commenting on the government’s new scheme ‘Dalit Bandhu’.

Published on August 08, 2021

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