Kolkata: Railing against the "oppressive caste system", expelled CPI-M leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah Saturday floated his own outfit Bharatiya Nayabichar Party (BNP) saying it stood for socio-economcic development of the minorities, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
"We are not against the upper castes. But against the oppressive caste system," said Mollah, a current legislator and senior minister in the erstwhile Left Front government.
While basing his optimism about the success of the party on the 94 percent population in the state comprising people from the minority and backward communities, Mollah, however, conceded only numbers could not bring any party to power.
"To come to power, BNP will have to secure the SC, ST votes in minority dominated areas. In seats where the SC, ST are in a majority, we will need the votes from the religious minorities," said Molla, who launched a scathing attack on the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) for doing precious little for these communities.
Mollah, a leader known for his earthy humour and grassroots support and one of the handful of CPI-M leaders to have won the assembly polls in 2011 when the Left Front was routed, was expelled from the party earlier this year as the Marxists struggled to maintain inner-party discipline.
Mollah, a former land reforms minister, during his ministerial tenure openly protested against the land acquisition procedure followed by the LF regime in Singur in Hooghly district for the Nano car plant of the Tata Motors.
After the party-led Left Front was dethroned in 2011, Mollah ridiculed chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then industries minister Nirupam Sen, chiefly blaming them for the defeat.
He further earned the party's wrath by going for Haj, something considered an anathema in the Communist party known for its atheist philosophy.
Mollah again donned the dissenter's hat when he criticised the party in the midst of the rural bodies polls last year.
He called for restructuring the organisation, saying the present middle-class leaders would not be able to cause a turnaround in the party's fortunes by taking on the ruling Trinamool Congress.