The formula of social engineering was earlier adopted by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati after which she came to power in UP. Now the Samajwadi Party has reportedly entrusted the task of getting a statue of Lord Parashuram installed to a Brahmin leader, Abhishek Mishra, who was a minister in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet.
Parashuram is considered the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu by devotees and is said to have killed many warriors from the Kshatriya clan with his battleaxe (parashu) for abusing their power.
Sources say the SP aims to install the tallest statue of Parashuram who is revered by many Hindus, particularly Brahmins. The party is reportedly in discussions with some of the top statue builders in the country. The installation is expected to be 108 feet tall and would be made under the banner of Parashuram Chetna Peeth Trust and installed at Janeshwar Mishra Park in Lucknow.
Samajwadi Party sources say that some senior SP leaders recently visited Jaipur in connection with the project. Talks have also been taking place with renowned sculptors like Arjun Prajapati who is known for building a statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, they say. The party is likely to pursue the project through donations and fundraisers. Observers say this is an attempt by the Samajwadi Party to connect with Brahmins, once considered the traditional vote bank of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The biggest park of the country, Janeshwar Mishra Park, was made by the Samajwadi Party government and a statue of Janeshwar Mishra was also installed there. Now we will be installing the statue of Lord Parashuram also. The mother of Lord Parashuram was a Kshatriya and we respect both the Brahmin and Kshatriya community,” Samajwadi Party spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria said.
SP leaders say this will be the tallest statue of Lord Parashuram and it could prove to be a master stroke for the party ahead of the 2022 UP assembly polls. The party for years relied on the Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) formula to find a path to power. But Brahmin vote bank politics has heated up in the state after gangster Dubey's killing. The Congress too has been trying to highlight problems faced by the community in UP.
The BJP, which has a Kshatriya chief minister in Yogi Adityanath, has hit out at the Samajwadi Party over the project. “We don’t have any objection with the installation of a statue of Lord Parshuram in Lucknow but we have objection with the intent of the Samajwadi Party behind it," BJP leader Laxmikant Bajpai said. "The dual face of SP has been uncovered now: on the one hand their MP says Babri was and will always be a mosque while on the other hand they talk about Lord Parashuram. The Brahmins are not at all unhappy with the BJP in the state.”