Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati is again trying to win the support of the dominant Brahmin community ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2022 despite suffering repeated failures since 2012.
On Sunday, Ms. Mayawati appealed to the community to take ‘inspiration’ from the Dalits and remain ‘firm’ in not falling for any lure or gimmicks deployed by other parties especially the ruling BJP.
Ms. Mayawati said she was ‘proud’ that the Dalit community, to which she belongs, did not fall for any amount of lure they were tempted with by other parties especially the BJP in the last few elections. She claimed that the Dalits voted one-way for her despite attempts to mislead them with money, visits to their homes by BJP leaders and khichdi (meal).
To attract the community to her party and build consensus among them that their interests were secure only under a BSP government, Ms. Mayawati has deputed Satish Chandra Mishra, Rajya Sabha MP and Brahmin face of the BSP, to start a campaign with special meetings for the community starting July 23. The campaign will start from the politically-sensitive town of Ayodhya.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, the BSP was reduced to 19 seats. It was a huge fall for the party since it came to power with a full majority in the 403-member Assembly in 2007.
Ms. Mayawati admitted that the BSP did not win many seats in 2017 but stressed that her vote percentage did not fall that drastically. “Our vote percentage was even more than the Samajwadi Party’s,” she said.
While the BSP secured over 22% votes, the SP, which contested less number of seats due to an alliance with the Congress, got around 21.8% though it won more than double the seats won by the BSP.
Ms. Mayawati said the “upper caste” communities especially Brahmins were in distress in U.P. under the BJP rule. In the last election, she said, the Brahmins voted heavily in favour of the BJP and helped it secure a five-year-term in power.
But she now feels that the Brahmins are now ‘repenting’ and would not be ‘mislead’ by the BJP again.
“You have experienced them for five years. How much more will you examine them,” she asked the community.