AAP leaders
Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP MP Sanjay Singh in Ayodhya | Twitter | @SanjayAzadSln
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Lucknow: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), that is looking to make inroads in Uttar Pradesh in the run up to the assembly election due next year, launched its ‘Tiranga Yatra‘ Tuesday in Ayodhya in a bid to woo Brahmins. It also plans to hold a series ‘Chanakya Sammelans‘ beginning next month.

The initiatives are part of the Delhi-based party’s outreach to Brahmins, a community that constitutes around 12 per cent of the state’s population and is a significant vote bank.

The yatra was launched by AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia along with the party’s UP incharge, Sanjay Singh. The two leaders had visited the Ram Janmabhoomi and Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya Monday, where they were seen reciting the Hanuman Chalisa.

“Earlier we planned to hold the yatra only in Noida and Lucknow, but now it will be organised in all the districts in the next two months. During this yatra, we will play patriotic songs and slogans,” a senior AAP functionary told ThePrint.

A second AAP functionary said that the Tiranga Yatra and the visit to temples in Ayodhya was part of the party’s plan to counter the BJP, the ruling party in the state.

“I can’t claim how many seats we will win, but we can spoil the game of some parties, especially BJP, on urban seats,” the party functionary said.

It isn’t just the AAP that’s trying to woo Brahmins; the BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have been organising ‘Jan Sammelan Yatras‘ while the Samajwadi Party (SP) is holding a ‘Shiv Sevak Sammelan‘.

Attacking the BJP, Singh Monday said, “AAP’s true nationalism will defeat BJP’s fake nationalism. AAP’s Tiranga Yatra is getting an overwhelming response everywhere. After Ayodhya, Tiranga Yatra will be taken out in the entire Uttar Pradesh. Yatra will aim to bring in a new politics of development and honesty in the state.”


Also read: Brahmins in focus, Mayawati begins UP poll campaign amid Sanskrit mantras, Jai Shri Ram chants


‘Chanakya Vichar Sammelans’

The AAP is also planning to hold ‘Chanakya Vichar Sammelans’, a series of events to woo Brahmins that will begin from 3 October. The first sammelan will be held in Lucknow.

An AAP leader said that apart from Lucknow, sammelans will also be held in Prayagraj, Meerut, Agra, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and several other districts.

Even though the BJP, BSP and SP are organising ‘Prabuddha Sammelans’ to garner the support of Brahmins, the AAP leader said it was his party that first raised its voice against atrocities on Brahmins in the state.

“We will invite victims’ families to raise their concerns and share their pain with other people of the community. In the last four years, Brahmins have felt insulted and this would be the reason for the downfall of the BJP in UP,” he said.

Vaibhav Maheshwari, the AAP spokesperson in UP, said: “We will also discuss ‘good governance’ model at the Chanakya Sammelan. Chanakya knew ‘Raj Dharma’, so we will also try to explain to people what ‘Raj Dharma’ is and how this government (the BJP) is not following it.”

AAP’s record in UP

During the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the AAP contested on 77 seats and lost its deposit on 76. The party then contested the 2017 local body elections when it fielded 3,400 candidates. It managed to win 44 seats and finished fifth.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the party failed to open its account and all its candidates lost their deposits. For the 2022 assembly polls, it has decided to contest all seats on its own.

Earlier, there had been reports of AAP holding talks with O.P. Rajbhar’s Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha. Sanjay Singh had also met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in July, sparking buzz about a possible tie-up.

A source close to Singh told ThePrint that every month in the last two years, the AAP Rajya Sabha MP has been spending more than 20 days in the state, and has improved the party organisation as well as its perception in the state.

“He was among the first leaders who raised the issue of Ayodhya Ram temple land scam. He also raised the issue of Covid mismanagement (in the state) several times during his press conferences,” the source said.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)


Also read: Mathura, Kashi, Ayodhya & more on the map in new BJP plan for OBC outreach in UP


 

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