Priyanka Gandhi hails Kanshi Ram, her barbs against Mayawati notwithstanding

She calls the BSP founder a strong pillar who emboldened the voice of the deprived

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday, while paying tribute to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram on his death anniversary, described him as a “strong pillar” who strengthened the politics of social justice in India.

“My salute to Honourable Kanshi Ram ji who emboldened the voice of the Dalit and the deprived and was a strong pillar of strengthening the politics of social justice and Constitutional values,” Ms. Vadra tweeted.

The Congress leader’s remarks on the BSP founder is in sharp contrast to her recent twitter barbs at BSP supremo Mayawati, whom she had described as an “informal spokesperson for the BJP.”

Her latest tweet also reflects the Congress party’s attempt to reach out to the Dalit community, once its traditional vote bank along with Muslims in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), and create a political space for the party.

When U.P. politics swung between Mandal-Kamandal (Reservation and Hindutva) in the early 1990s, the Congress didn’t just lose out its support base, but was also left without political narrative.

After being given the task of reviving the party in a State where the Congress doesn’t have a robust organisation, Ms. Vadra is trying to occupy the political centrestage by confronting the Yogi Adityanath government over issues like law and order, women’s security and employment among others.

During the recent protests over the Hathras gangrape, while the top leaders of main Opposition parties like Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP refrained from visiting the victim’s family, Ms Vadra along with her brother and former party chief, Rahul Gandhi, faced off with the U.P. police to reach Hathras.

“@myogiadityanath RESIGN. Instead of protecting the victim and her family, your government became complicit in depriving her of every single human right, even in death. You have no moral right to continue as Chief Minister,” Ms. Vadra had tweeted after the U.P. government had allegedly cremated the victim at night without the family members in attendance.

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