'Should not be misled': Mayawati reaches out to Brahmins before UP polls
Lucknow/Ballia, July 18: Stepping up preparations for the UP Assembly polls, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Sunday announced that a campaign will be launched from Ayodhya to reach out to Brahmin voters and urged the community not to be "misled" by the BJP.
BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra will offer prayers at the makeshift shrine of Ram Lalla in the holy city on July 23 before starting a series of ''Brahmin sammelans'', in a politically loaded move.
Speaking to the media here, Mayawati claimed the people from the "upper castes" were repenting voting for the BJP in the last state elections and said their interests will be safeguarded if her party comes to power.
"A campaign, led by BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra, will be started from Ayodhya on July 23 to awaken the Brahmin community once again.
"The Brahmins will be assured that their interests will remain safe under the BSP regime," the former chief minister and Dalit leader said.
Mayawati''s Brahmin outreach, led by Misra, was considered as one of the key factors for her win in the 2007 UP assembly election.
The BSP chief said she is fully confident that the members of the "Brahmin community will not get misled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)" and will vote for her party in the upcoming elections.
Asked about the campaign, Misra told PTI, "First of all, we will have ''darshan'' of Lord Hanuman at the Hanumangarhi (in Ayodhya). It will be followed by ''darshan'' of Ram Lalla, and then the campaign will kick-off.
"A meeting will also be held on that day, and its venue will be declared in a couple of days."
The ruling BJP hit back, alleging the BSP chief is "remembering" the Brahmins only because of assembly elections next year and is pursuing "opportunistic politics".
On the agitation against the farm laws, the BSP chief said all political parties should come together and hold the Centre accountable.
"The indifferent attitude of the Centre towards farmers protesting against the three farm laws is extremely sad. It is necessary that pressure is put on the Centre in Parliament," she said.
Mayawati alleged that there is rising unemployment and inflation, which is posing hardships to the people, due to the wrong economic policies of the central government.
She said the BSP MPs will raise issues such as the rise in fuel and cooking gas prices and matters related to COVID-19 vaccination during the Monsoon session of Parliament which begins on Monday.
"There are many issues on which the public wants accountability of the government," she said.
She claimed that people from the "upper castes" especially the Brahmin community are "feeling extremely sad as they had voted for the BJP and helped form its government for five years".
She also praised the Dalit community, saying it stayed united in the last assembly election and voted for her party.
"I feel proud of the people of the Dalit community in the state who did not deviate, remained united, and voted for the BSP.
"As a result, in the 2017 UP Assembly elections, we may have got less number of seats, but our vote percentage stood at 22.23, more than the Samajwadi Party''s 21.82 percent."
She said that not only the BJP but the Congress also had tried to "lure the Dalits by using different tactics".
"They ate ''khichdi'' in the house of Dalits, although it was brought from their own house as they did not like the ''khichdi'' cooked by the Dalits and brought from the home of the Dalits. Rath Yatra was also taken out," she said.
"A Congress leader tried to woo the Dalits by carrying a ''taslaa'' (a utensil generally used in construction activities) full of soil on his head, and ''Khaat Sabha'' was also organised, and drama enacted. All these are not hidden from anyone," she said in a statement issued here.
Meanwhile, reacting to Mayawati''s statement, UP minister for Divyaangjan Welfare and BJP leader Anil Rajbhar claimed the BSP chief is fighting for her political existence, and the campaign to reach out to the Brahmin community is an "example of opportunistic politics''''.
Rajbhar also claimed that the Brahmin community will give a befitting reply to the BSP in the 2022 UP Assembly polls.
"BSP is remembering the Brahmins because of the election. BSP chief Mayawati does not have information about what is happening on the ground," he told reporters.
"She will never struggle for the problems being faced by the public, nor will she speak about the farmers. She never moves out (of her house) to know the condition of the Dalits. She does politics from her air-conditioned room via Twitter and social media," he said.