With the Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati trying to rebuild her Brahmin support base in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh has also set his sights on the community which comprises about 16 per cent of the total electorate. At a P rabudh Varg Sammelan (intellectual class conference ) of the Samajwadi Party here on Friday, Mr. Singh made a determined bid to woo the Brahmins by offering them several sops. He said the Brahmin “samaj” has worked for the progress of the country and the society.
Even as he wooed the Brahmins, Mr. Singh rediscovered the relevance of Mangal Pandey – for the party’s cause. Stating that Mangal Pandey lit the torch of freedom struggle, the SP chief said that “samajwad” (socialism) was taken forward by him and lauded the freedom fighter for establishing a socialist set-up.
Though the meeting was dubbed as P rabudh Varg Sammelan , it was essentially a Brahmin conference of the Samajwadi Party. It was organised by the Minister of State for Agriculture Education and the State president of Samajwadi Party’s Brahmin Sabha, Manoj Kumar Pandey.
Addressing the convention at the party headquarters, Mr. Singh showered praises on the Brahmins and said they were not casteist. He said the Samajwadi Party has always been “blessed” ( aashirwaad ) by the Brahmins and his Government (when Mulayam was the Chief Minister) had reciprocated by declaring Parshuram Jayanti a gazetted holiday in the State.
Announcing sops for the community, Mr. Singh said problems of the Sanskrit teachers and those of the unaided colleges would be solved. The Samajwadi chief promised that the false cases against (Brahmin) teachers would be withdrawn and a chapter on Acharya Mahaveer Dwivedi (a Hindi poet) would be included in the school curriculum. Mr. Singh further said that a 360 acre park named after Janeshwar Mishra is being developed by the present regime in Gomtinagar in Lucknow.
He emphasized that the park named after Mr. Mishra was bigger than the Ram Manohar Lohia Park. Also in Gomtinagar, the Lohia Park named after the Samajwadi Party’s ideologue was developed when Mr. Singh was the Chief Minister from 2003 to 2007.
Referring to the reports of Chinese incursion, Mr. Singh said China had occupied 12 kilometres of Indian territory in Ladakh. He said about seven to eight years ago he had warned about the threat to India’s border. The SP president assailed the UPA Government’s conciliatory gesture towards China and said that the country could not be trusted. Mr. Singh accused the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister of ignoring the threat.