Lucknow: The Brahmins are facing atrocities under the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and the party is fooling people in the name of religion, Satish Chandra Mishra, General Secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), said.
In an interview with ThePrint, Mishra, who recently completed the first leg of prabudh jan sammelans — conferences focussed on Brahmins — also spoke about the issue of caste-based census, development works during the BSP rule, and the probability of an alliance with the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) for the upcoming assembly polls.
On the demand for a caste-based census, an issue on which the Modi government has maintained its silence, Mishra said if the census is conducted, the survey will prove that the population of Brahmins in the state is much higher than being assumed. He claims the population of Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh is around 16.5 per cent, and not 10 per cent.
“This government is not bringing census report publicly but I have been told that it’s 16.5 per cent,” he said.
He also said the Brahmins have been facing atrocities since the Yogi Adityanath government came to power.
”Brahmins feel they have been cheated by this government in the name of Lord Ram as there have been several atrocities against them. They are returning to BSP because they know our party will provide everything: samman (respect), saath (support) and suraksha (safety), the way we did during our regime.
“During our 40-day jann sammelan journey, we covered 75 districts. I have done (sammelans) in 2004 and 2007 too, but I can say that the response has been 3-4 times better than what it used to be in the past. Brahmins atrocities are at their peak during this government’s rule; we are reaching out to them. We believe in bhaichara (brotherhood),” the BSP leader said.
On development work
Mishra also said that his party has done more development work at religious places in the state as compared to other parties, but it doesn’t like to promote it.
”We laid down sewer lines and water pipelines in Ayodhya during our regime. We also constructed the first sewage treatment plant there. We carried out beautification work at the Saryu ghat. Similarly, in Mathura, we built a sewer line, a 100-bed hospital, a bus station, and an old-age home. The construction of new roads also happened during our rule. Similarly, our government carried out development work in Chitrakoot and Bithoor.”
“We have done a lot of work for religious places but we don’t promote it the way the BJP is doing. We did not give so many advertisements to create a narrative because it was our duty to work,” he added.
One being asked why didn’t the BSP protest against the Yogi government in the last four years, Mishra said: “We have our own ways of staging protests. We send memorandum and appeal letters to concerned officers. We don’t believe in staging dharnas and blocking traffic or damaging public property. In the last four years, our local unit leaders met the families of victims who have faced atrocities. Even behenji (BSP supremo Mayawati) also talked to several families and met them in her office.
“It’s a wrong perception that we don’t meet people. Behenji holds meetings from 9 am till late evening. People from several districts come to meet her.”
Mishra also spoke about his party’s decision to deny a ticket to gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari.
”It has been done for the betterment of the party. Behenji already clarified in her tweet that the party will not give tickets to mafias and Bahubalis. We took the decision after the consent of local units. Minorities still support us. They understand what this (BJP) government is doing with them. We have many other important minority leaders also with a ‘clean image’. The public is fed up with this government’s law and order situation.”
On alliance with Congress & SP
Mishra denied any chance of an alliance with the Congress and Samajwadi Party for the assembly elections.
“We already have experience of several pre-poll and post-poll alliances. Our party president has made it clear that we will contest solo in the elections. There is no scope left of forming an alliance with the SP again.”
Mishra, however, refused to comment on the party’s strategy if SP president Akhilesh Yadav approaches for pre- or post-poll alliance.
He further said the BSP has a high chance of winning the 2022 polls as the party has the support of both Brahmins and OBC communities. “Brahmins are with us. Our state president is OBC, so he and other OBC leaders are trying to reach out to OBCs also. Dalits and a large section of minorities are fully supporting us. So our chances of winning the elections are huge. Our 2007 formula will work in 2022 also.”
On being asked about the involvement of his family members in political activities and whether it means they are likely to contest elections, Misha said: “My family members are supporting our poll campaign but it doesn’t mean that they are going to contest elections. They are helping in increasing our reach to the public.”
He also added that a young team of professionals is behind the increase in presence of the party’s media and social media activities.