The BJP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)are going all out to woo Dalits with the former focusing on programmes held on Valmiki Jayanti and the latter observing the death anniversary of its founder, late Kanshi Ram.
Both, Valmiki Jayanti and Kanshi Ram’s anniversary are on Sunday, October 9.
The birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki, who is credited for writing the original Ramayana during the lifetime of Lord Ram, is being marked with various events in Uttar Pradesh, including the continuous recital of the Ramayana at all temples of Lord Rama and Hanuman, as well as at all places associated with the epic along with the lighting of lamps this year.
The Yogi Adityanath government is celebrating the birth anniversary of Valmiki in a grand manner across UP this year.
Principal Secretary, Mukesh Kumar Meshram has issued directions in this regard to all divisional commissioners and the district magistrates asking them to ensure that Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated on a grand scale throughout the state.
The officials have been asked to arrange for the lighting of lamps or ‘deepdan’ as well as the continuous recital of the Ramayana for 8, 12 or 24 hours and organise similar other events at all places and temples related to Maharishi Valmiki on his Jayanti.
The celebration of the Valmiki Jayanti on a larger scale this year is apparently with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the Dalit votes. Valmiki is said to be a Dalit and the author of Ramayana.
The BJP strategy is to link Valmiki (Dalit) with Ramayana and consolidate the ‘Hindu First’ concept.
The state government has also revamped the ‘Valmiki Ashram’ in Chitrakoot which has now been developed as a tourist destination.
The Bahujan Samaj Party , on the other hand, is using the death anniversary of late Kanshi Ram to win back its cadres.
In a tweet, Mayawati, on Sunday, reminded her followers that it was BSP which had the ‘master key’ to power and had formed government four times in Uttar Pradesh.
“The next elections are a test for the Bahujan Samaj to get back power," she tweeted.
The BSP however, did not hold any major programme on the occasion and its leaders restricted themselves to paying floral tributes to their founder.