As the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections inches closer, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati is attempting to make a paradigm shift in her political strategy. The Dalit leader is all set to woo the Brahmin voters by organising ‘Brahmin Sammelans’ across the state.
As part of her charm offensive to lure Brahmin voters to its fold, Mayawati has announced the second ‘Brahmin Sammelan’ to be held at the holy town Vrindavan, where Hindu deity Lord Krishna is said to have spent his childhood, from August 1. Satish Kumar Mishra, the party’s general secretary and in charge of this drive, will be visiting the famous Banke Bihari temple before taking part in the event.
Earlier on July 23, Satish Kumar Mishra had offered prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya before commencing the party’s first phase of the campaign to woo Brahmin voters.
At each such event, the BSP leaders have strategized to first go for temple darshan in the respective city and then address the gathering. Local Brahmin organisations, BSP Brahmin workers and several intellectuals of the same caste will be invited.
Speaking about what appears as BSP’s stratagem to compete with Yogi Adityanath, the icon of Hindutva, in the upcoming state Assembly elections, Satish Kumar Mishra “Brahmin community constitute 13 per cent of the state population but are still marginalised because Brahmins are not united”. He stressed that the real power will come only when Brahmins and Dalits in UP come together.
Moreover, talking about the party’s sudden Hindu turn, a senior BSP leader said it’s “high time the BSP understands the local sentiments.”
“Many of our Dalit brothers voted for Modi on nationalism and Hinduism. We have to counter this narrative. Somehow a section of Jatavs, especially youngsters, are now turned into Hindu voters. So to keep them with us we have to show them that we agree with their thoughts. We are not different. So these Brahmin Sammelans and religious places connection are correlated,” said the leader.
In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, BJP won a whopping 312 seats in the 403-member House, whereas BSP could win only 19 seats. Now, eyeing a comeback in the state, after staying out of power for 9 years, Mayawati’s BSP is all geared to shed its Dalit-only image as it has started talking about fostering unity between Brahmin and Dalit communities. In an attempt to woo Hindus, the party is not only organising these ‘Brahmin Seminars’ but interestingly, has also come up with posters with pictures of Ram Lalla along with the under-construction Ram Temple.
And not just BSP, even Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) is putting it all in to woo the Brahmin voters by playing the soft Hindutva card. Recently, SP announced a statue of Lord Parshuram to be installed inside the party headquarters in Lucknow. Another SP leader had met a few Brahmin leaders and formed a committee to deal with the community’s problems. In fact, SP is also set to hold such ‘Brahmin Sammelans’ in various districts as a part of the outreach programme.