As the next assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh draws nearer, a mad scramble has started among the major political players to set their caste equations right and the electorally influential ‘Brahmin’ community appears to be on everyone’s radar.
If it was the Congress, which had undertaken a ‘yatra’ in different parts in the state through a little known outfit ‘Brahman Chetna Parishad’ to launch, what the grand old party called a “campaign for justice” for the community, the BSP, which had tasted power in the state riding its “social engineering” (Brahmin and Dalits) formula in 2007, organised several ‘prabuddh sammelans’ (for Brahmins) with the intention of bringing back the community to its fold.
Congress has also hinted that it may also project a ‘Brahmin’ face for the post of chief minister of the state in the assembly polls.
Apparently not wanting to be left behind, the BJP too held a series of ‘prabuddh varg sammelans
The Samajwadi Party (SP) has also announced plans to install statues of ‘Parashuram’ (a Brahmin sage) in different parts of the state. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has decided to put up its candidates on all the 403 seats in the polls in the state, would be holding ‘Chanakya Vichar Sammelans’ for a similar purpose.
Since holding caste based meetings have been banned, the political parties named their meetings differently, though it is meant for a particular caste only.
The opposition parties think that the ‘Brahmins’ are ‘angry’ with the BJP as they feel that they are being ‘persecuted’ in Yogi Adityanath regime and their feeling stems from the fact that several saffron party lawmakers from the community too had expressed concern over the way the community members were being treated by the present dispensation.
BJP MLA from Sultanpur district Deomani Dwivedi said that many ‘Brahmins’ were killed in police encounters in the state.
Political analyst J.P.Shukla says that ‘Brahmins’ can’t be ‘fooled’ by false promises. “Brahmins have no problems in aligning with other castes….After all they supported the BSP in 2007 polls….in 2009 Lok Sabha polls they supported the Congress and in 2014 and 2019 LS polls they switched loyalty to the BJP,” Shukla added.
It will be interesting to see which party gets the support of the 13 per cent ‘Brahmins’ this time.