Lucknow: As politics heats up in the state ahead of 2022 assembly elections, the parties seem to have shifted focus. This change was prompted by the encounter of dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey that gave rise to emergence of 'Brahmin votebank' as the centre of attraction.
Nearly all the opposition parties in the state — like Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party — are trying to woo the Brahmins, considered to be the traditional votebank of the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, it is former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada who has been a constant Brahmin face in UP.
He has been in the state and also to some extent has been successful in positioning himself as the Brahmin face of Congress.
Apart from raising issues related to Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh, Prasada had recently thanked BSP supremo Mayawati for a tweet on the issue of discrimination on caste lines post Dubey's death. Quoting Mayawati's tweet, the Congress leader wrote, "Mayawati ji, I express my gratitude to you from my society for what you have said about our society."
The BSP Chief in a bid to improve social engineering had tweeted, "The BSP believes that the entire community of a person who committed a crime should not be tortured and put in the dock as a punishment for his crime. That is why the atmosphere of fear and terror that has gripped the community of Kanpur police murder case accused Vikas Dubey with regard to the crime committed by him and his henchmen should be removed."
The former chief minister further said that the state government should not take any action that would make the Brahmin community feel scared, terrorised and insecure.
"At the same time, it is better if the UP government takes action on the basis of facts to restore public confidence in this regard and does not indulge in politics under the garb of Vikas Dubey case. The government should not do any such work that would make the Brahmin community feel scared and insecure," she said.
Prasada had earlier launched Brahmin Chetna Sawaad for raising the issues related to the community. In the same sequence, he had released a video on his Twitter handle saying, "In the past few years, the work of marginalizing our society is being done in a planned manner. Our society is being seen as malicious and step-motherly treatment is given. It has been time. We all have to face this challenge. We have all seen many people from our society have been brutally murdered. I myself reached out to the families of the victims at many places. People from our community have to wander for justice. It is being felt that the government is working with a wrong intention towards society. We will have to come together to face this challenge.”
According to CSDS, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, only six per cent of Brahmins voted for the Congress in UP, whereas BJP had 82 per cent support. In UP, Brahmins with about 10 per cent of the population are more effective in Purvanchal and play a key role in about 30 districts. This is considered to be a 'Deciding Shifting' vote. This is the main reason why Congress is trying hard to win back the Brahmin votes which was once considered loyal to the Congress.
Apart from Jitin Prasada, Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam has also gone full throttle against the Yogi Adityanath government on the issue of encounter of Vikas Dubey and even termed the government as ‘killer of Brahmins’. “This government is the murderer of Brahmins. It is a curse to be a Brahmin, will the government curse Brahmins,” he wrote on his official Facebook page.