UP assembly polls: Focus on Brahmin votes, step up booth reach, Mayawati to BSP leaders

Sources in the BSP told The Indian Express that the primary agenda of the meeting was to instruct the district units to increase their reach at the booth level, and ask them to place a special focus on the Brahmin vote while ensuring the core vote bank of Dalits stays intact. Brahmins constitute around 11 per cent of the votes in Uttar Pradesh.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Wednesday directed the party’s senior office-bearers and district presidents to intensify their reach at the level of the polling booth, and focus on Brahmin votes to forge a Dalit-Brahmin unity. This came a day after the BSP concluded the first phase of its meetings targeted at the Brahmin vote ahead of next year’s Assembly elections.

“Keeping in mind the challenges of the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections, a detailed assessment of party cadre preparations on the polling booth level, and assessment to increase the party’s reach among the sarvsamaj was done during an important meeting with the senior office bearers of the party and district presidents. All were directed to work on a war footing,” Mayawati tweeted.

The directions were issued to the party functionaries at a meeting held at the BSP office in Lucknow. All officials in charge of different sectors, and all 75 district presidents attended the meeting.

Sources in the BSP told The Indian Express that the primary agenda of the meeting was to instruct the district units to increase their reach at the booth level, and ask them to place a special focus on the Brahmin vote while ensuring the core vote bank of Dalits stays intact. Brahmins constitute around 11 per cent of the votes in Uttar Pradesh.

The sources said directions were also issued to start identifying potential candidates for the Assembly polls, keeping in mind the public image of such leaders and the caste equations.

On Tuesday, the BSP concluded its month-long “Prabuddha Varga Sammelans” that were organised to brainstorm ways to win the Brahmin vote in the polls. The exercise came to an end with a “Vichar Sangoshthi” organised at the party headquarters.

At the event, the BSP supremo asked the party workers to induct at least 1,000 Brahmin workers in each Vidhan Sabha constituency. Mayawati said the work would begin in the reserve seats and would then be expanded to the rest of the constituencies. Unlike the BSP conventions of the past, a sizeable number of people in saffron robes were present at the meeting on Tuesday where Mayawati was presented with a trishul (trident), and a small statue of Hindu deity Ganesha.

Referring to the social engineering formula that propelled her party to victory in the 2007 elections, Mayawati told the audience at the convention, “If the Brahmin community emulates Dalits and doesn’t fall for any allurement, then no force can stop us from forming a majority government, just like in 2007.”

The alliance between the two communities crumbled soon afterwards as Brahmins deserted the BSP, causing it to finish third in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, BSP supporters across the state have been told to reach the Kanshi Ram Memorial in Lucknow on October 9 to commemorate the death anniversary of the BSP founder. This is unlike the past few years when the party had asked workers and supporters to pay their tributes in their respective divisions.

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