Ambedkar b'day sets UP parties poll agenda
Manjari Mishra, TNN | Apr 14, 2011, 04.44am IST
LUCKNOW: All the fawning and festivities planned on his birthday would
have made Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar distinctly uncomfortable. Toast of the
election season in UP, Baba Saheb has virtually set off a fierce
succession war among major political parties in the run-up to the 2012
assembly elections in UP.
Among all of them, Bahujan Samaj Party obviously has an edge. Though
its president Mayawati has somewhat scaled down celebrations and would
rather let the memorials and parks showcase her legitimate claims to
inheritance, Congress and the BJP are determined not to give in
without putting up a tough fight.
Congress, which has raised its pitch on atrocities against dalits in
Mayaraj for the past one year to a new high, has come up with the idea
of holding a mahapanchayat of Purvanchal "dalit and ati-pichda
segment". To be held in Varanasi, the mahapanchayat would be chaired
by UP unit's in-charge Digvijay Singh.
The BJP has earmarked the day for a intensive dalit connect. The party
will observe "Samajik Samrasata Diwas" -- a phrase inspired obviously
by Maya's lexicon. And even though both camps dismiss the sudden spurt
of activities as an annual jayanti routine, the overdrive is said to
be the result of "Mayawati's Madurai missile" .
During her recent election campaign in Madurai last week, Mayawati had
accused both the BJP and Congress with conspiring to do away with
reservation. The CM projected her party as the only political outfit
genuinely concerned with dalit empowerment, while the other two were
unreliable and ambivalent.
Congress reacted faster, juggled a few dates and fixed the
mahapanchayat on April 14. BJP followed suit by issuing directives to
all its party units to take the Samarasata Diwas seriously. The
mahapanchayat is expected to have delegates from dalit and
`ati-pichada' (most backwards) from a dozen east UP districts of
Ghazipur, Ballia, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Basti, Azamgarh, Mau,
Jaunpur, Deoria, Sonbhadra and Gorakhpur. The idea is to highlight the
plight of SCs in UP. The speakers will be mostly victims voicing their
tales of harassment in presence of Digvijay Singh, said president of
UPCC Anti-Communal cell, Amresh Mishra.
Digvijay, he added, would also be felicitated by the mushar community
on the occasion .
Though party leaders are a little cagey that the mahapanchayat could
be their bid to woo the non-chamars (a formidable 15 percent out of 30
percent of UP dalit vote bank pie with an unwavering loyalty to
Mayawati) and bring them together on a single platform. With Digvijay
known for his acerbic one- liners slated to be the chief guest, the
event, the party leadership has assured, will surely not go unnoticed
BJP in the meantime will stick to symbolic celebrations visits to the
malin bastees and interact with the residents, seminars lectures and
goshthees to highlights the issues plaguing the segment. The UP
election in charge for the party and BJP national vice-president
Kalraj Mishra will be spending the day in Gwaltoli - a dalit colony in
Kanpur and all senior leaders have been assigned their respective
beat. This is the first time that the party is going beyond the
garlanding ritual, and staking a serious claim. This agenda will be
taken further in coming days, sources said.
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