In a significant political development, opposition parties in UP have promised big statues of Bhagwan Parshuram to woo the powerful Brahmin community which constitutes 13 per cent of the population in the politically important Hindi heartland state. The opposition leaders have alleged that Brahmins are being harassed, hounded and persecuted by the BJP government led by a ‘Thakur Chief Minister’ — Yogi Adityanath (Ajay Kumar Bisht).
Soon after the encounter of mafia gang leader Vikas Dubey, the entire opposition seems to have suddenly woken up to the alleged ‘victimisation’ of the community in the name of ‘weeding out criminals’. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have stated that the Brahmin community is feeling harassed, insecure and is being persecuted by the police.
Soon after the encounter of mafia gang leader Vikas Dubey, the entire opposition seems to have suddenly woken up to the alleged ‘victimisation’ of the Brahmin community in the name of ‘weeding out criminals’. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have stated that the Brahmin community is feeling harassed, insecure and is being persecuted by the police.
Significantly, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav made a surprising announcement that he would facilitate the construction of the tallest statue in the world in the name of Bhagwan Parshuram at Lucknow. Former minister Abhishek Mishra is a Brahmin face of the party and is actively involved in the party’s campaign to woo the Brahmin community.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has also joined the race to win over the Brahmin community and has promised a big statue of Bhagwan Parshuram if her party is voted back to power. She reminded the people of the state that her government had in the past constructed so many statues of leaders of various communities.
Mayawati is once again experimenting with the old formula of uniting the vote bank of Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims to capture power in 2022. It would be worth mentioning that in 2007 the BSP formed the government on its own for the first time when the party gave several tickets to candidates of the Brahmin community in the name of social engineering.
Mayawati projected Satish Mishra as the Brahmin face of the party and succeeded when the party got good support from the community in the assembly polls. Indeed, she is expecting a similar kind of support from the Brahmins so as to make an electoral combination with Dalits and sections of the Muslim community so as to come back to power.
After 2007, Mayawati experimented with Muslims who constitute 18 per cent of the population. But this experiment failed miserably as she could not get support from the entire community who, largely, backed Akhilesh Yadav.
The Congress is also working very hard to regain its Brahmin support and has projected former Union minister Jitin Prasad as its Brahmin face. Jitin Prasad is in-charge of the Brahmin Chetna Parishad on behalf of his party to give representation and voice to the upper caste community. He has alleged that
Brahmins were being targeted systematically under the regime of Yogi Adityanath, and that several Brahmins were killed during the last three years and that they were not getting justice. He has also written to the UP chief minister to restore the public holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.