Mayawati changes BSP’s Lok Sabha leader, eyes ‘Brahmin’ vote bank

BSP supremo Mayawati’s decision to appoint Ritesh Pandey as her party’s leader in the Lok Sabha by replacing Danish Ali appears to be aimed at winning back the support of the ‘Brahmin’ community in Uttar Pradesh.

Interestingly, Mayawati has changed her party’s leader in the Lower House on four occasions since last year’s Lok Sabha elections.

The BSP, which had won ten seats in the 2019 LS polls, had appointed Danish Ali as its leader in the house. Ali was, however, removed a few months later after he deviated from the party line and opposed to the abrogation of Article 370 and Shyam Singh Yadav was appointed as the new party leader.

Mayawati’s decision to appoint Yadav was seen as an attempt to woo the ‘Yadav’ community following the break-up of her alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP). He was replaced with Ali again after the BSP failed to gain the support of the ‘Yadav’ community in last year’s UP assembly bypolls.

According to the political observers here, the decision to replace Ali with Ritesh Pandey may have been prompted by Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s efforts to woo the influential ‘Brahmin’ community in the state.

Priyanka has been striving to reach out to the ‘brahmins’ in the state through its leaders, who belong to the same caste. The Congress leader has taken up the incidents of killing of the community members in the past few months in the state.

”Mayawati was able to come to power in UP in 2007 by weaving a social engineering formula, that was aimed at bringing together brahmins and Dalits,” said a political observer here.

He said that Mayawati lost the 2012 polls and was further dented after the ‘brahmins’ deserted her and shifted to the BJP.

It remains to be seen if Mayawati’s efforts to woo the community succeed.

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