Lucknow: Amid a perceived resentment among the Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh towards the Yogi Adityanath government, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has moved to win back the community that supported it in the 2007 elections.
According to sources in the party, the BSP is set to hold district-wise meetings of the party’s Brahmin workers, and conferences for the community at large. The decision comes ahead of the nine-day Navratri period set to begin in mid-October.
Satish Chandra Mishra, Mayawati’s close aide and party general secretary, has been entrusted with the responsibility to draw the framework for these conferences, said the sources. He will conduct the conference tours, starting Navratri.
Mishra is currently holding daily meetings with some Brahmin leaders and workers of the party at his residence in Lucknow to chalk out the plan. A district-wise list of such workers from every district is being drawn up and they are also being tasked with the responsibility of connecting with the Brahmins at the district level.
As small-sized political meetings and gatherings have now been permitted under revised Covid-19 protocol, preparations are being made to hold these conferences.
The sources said a core team has been formed under the leadership of Mishra, comprising several other BSP leaders including Nakul Dubey, Paresh Mishra, Anant Mishra ‘Antu’ and Ranganath Mishra. This team will take care of the arrangements related to the conferences.
The party already has several prominent Brahmin leaders and workers in central and eastern Uttar Pradesh, said the sources.
This year, many former block chiefs and other leaders, including former Pratapgarh MLA Ram Shiromani Shukla and former Fatehpur MLA Aditya Pandey, have joined the BSP. The party is now searching for some known Brahmin faces in western UP.
ThePrint reached Mishra for a comment via texts but there was no response till the time of publishing this report.
Efforts to cash in on ‘resentment’ among Brahmins
A senior BSP leader said the Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh are “seething with anger” against the Yogi government.
“Neither Congress nor Samajwadi Party is being able to raise their voices at a high level on their (Brahmin’s) behalf. But Behenji (Mayawati) has often mentioned about the atrocities against the Brahmins in her statements. In such a situation, Behenji continues to be the biggest hope for the Brahmins,” said the leader, who didn’t wish to be named.
“We had already proved it in the 2007 assembly elections when our party’s government was formed with the help of Brahmins,” he said.
When the BSP first tried the ‘Brahmin plus Dalit plus Muslim’ formula in the assembly elections in 2007, it managed to form its own government with full majority.
At the time, the BSP had given tickets to as many as 86 Brahmins candidates. Although the community later migrated to the BJP, every party in the opposition is striving to cobble up a similar winning equation.
In July, several Brahmin organisations had questioned the intention of the Yogi Adityanath government after the Vikas Dubey encounter. Following this, a Brahmin vs Thakur political equation had started to emerge in the state.
All India Brahmin Mahasabha (R) president Rajendra Nath Tripathi said over 500 Brahmins have been killed in UP in the last two years.
The resentment in the community against the government has now become the primary reason for the opposition parties to come out in support of UP’s Brahmins.
Mayawati takes charge
While several opposition leaders, like Jitin Prasada in Congress and Abhishek Mishra and Manoj Pandey in Samajwadi Party, have been continuously raising the issues concerning Brahmins, no statement has come from the top leadership of these parties.
However, in BSP, Mayawati has issued several statements on this issue.
Earlier this year, the Samajwadi Party made an announcement to install a 108-foot-high statue of Lord Parashuram in Lucknow. To counter this, Mayawati promised at a press conference that if she comes back to power in 2022, she will install an even higher statue of Lord Parashuram. She also announced to name parks and hospitals after him.
SP & Congress on ‘Brahmin Plan’
In response to the latest BSP plan, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Abhishek Mishra noted that the party has remembered the Brahmins “suddenly”. It did not bother about them when its own government was in power, he said.
During the BSP government, false cases were filed against several Brahmins under the SC-ST Act, Mishra said, adding that Brahmins will now never side with it.
Congress leader Jitin Prasada, who is coordinating the ‘Brahmin Chetna Samvad initiative in UP, said Mayawati wants to use the community merely as vote bank.
In 2007, the Brahmins aided in the formation of her government but the community received only betrayal in return, he said, adding that the Brahmins will not fall for it this time.