Monday, January 23, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Sidelined, Thakurs want to be politically counted

Sidelined, Thakurs want to be politically counted

Prashant Pandey Posted online: Mon Jan 23 2012, 05:31 hrs
Allahabad : Thakur community in Uttar Pradesh is frustrated to find
themselves ignored by major political parties that are wooing voters
from OBC, SC/ST, Most Backward Castes and Muslims in the run-up to the
Assembly polls in the state. Thakur leaders are therefore spreading
the word among the community members not to tow the line of any party
or leader and urging them to assert their presence by contesting as

In terms of tickets, the community has been overlooked by every major
political party. "The BSP has given tickets to around 35, while the
BJP too has given tickets to around the same number of Thakur
candidates. And Congress is only talking about OBCs and Dalits," said
Vishnu Saran Singh (Pujariji), national general secretary of All-India
Kshatriya Mahasabha (AIKM), an organisation representing the community
across India.

The other major upper caste, the Brahmins, has at least managed to get
some good numbers of candidates nominated by BSP, which is, however,
less compared to the nominees filed by Mayawati in the last Assembly

Coming back to Thakurs; the lack of the presence of a leader, who can
claim to be genuinely representing the Thakurs is the other big issue
faced by the community. Big names, like Digvijay Singh in Congress and
Rajnath Singh in BJP, exist. But they do not seem to be cutting much
ice within the community. "One of them (Digvijaya) has been reduced to
the role of making strange statements, while the other (Rajnath) has
been sidelined within his own party," said Saran.

There was a section of the community, which had remained attached with
the Samajwadi Party due to Amar Singh. But with the former SP leader
himself looking for political ground after he parted ways with SP
supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, the community is looking for a leader
having a strong base. "Even Amar Singh was used by the SP and
discarded when the family members of Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP supremo)
began asserting themselves," said Saran.

Some of the other big names from the community, like Brijesh Singh and
his kin, and Dhananjay Singh, fall in the category of "bahubali" and
have been associated with corruption and criminality. The community,
therefore, is wary of associating too much with such elements, having
their presence largely in Purvanchal region.

Two recent instances, which have taken place in the mainstream
parties, have come as stinging reminders that they are just not being

One of them is removal of Samajwadi Party national spokesperson Mohan
Singh from his post at the instance of state SP president Akhilesh
Yadav. Singh had made a comment apparently in favour of D P Yadav, the
strongman from western UP. Akhilesh was against his induction into the
party and making a statement that was perceived to be against
Akhilesh' view cost Mohan Singh his job.

"What was his fault? He only made a statement. Mohan Singh's political
experience must be more than the young leader's total age. He had
worked with the stalwarts like Lohia," said Vishnu Saran, who has
known Mohan Singh since his days in Allahabad University. "Both of us
were part of the students' union in close succession," he said.

The other instance is Narendra Singh Gaur of BJP being denied party
ticket from Allahabad (North) seat. the party chose Uday Bhan Karwaria
in place of Gaur. Thakur leaders recently held a meeting in Allahabad
passing a resolution to protest against the BJP for not giving ticket
to Gaur. The issue of no Thakur candidate being given ticket in the
entire Allahabad region was also raised during the issue.


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