Friday, January 13, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Statue cover-up gives Mayawati a poll issue

Statue cover-up gives Mayawati a poll issue
Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Jan 13, 2012, 06.56AM IST

LUCKNOW: The BSP has found a new poll plank to galvanize its core vote
bank of dalits. The party is projecting the Election Commission's
decision to drape the statutes of Mayawati and party symbol elephant
as an insult to dalits done by the poll panel at the behest of
opposition parties. The party has chosen its Brahmin face S C Mishra
to take up the dalit cause.

Demanding the EC to reconsider its decision, Mishra on Thursday wrote
a letter to it terming the decision as one-sided and violation of
Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides right to equality.

The letter states, "Dalits are feeling cheated as the decision was
taken on the memoranda of SP, Congress and BJP. The statues installed
in dalit memorials are in welcome position with upside trunk and
aren't similar to BSP's symbol. Elephant statutes are installed in
temples across India and government buildings. The EC should also have
objected to SP's symbol cycle, BJP's lotus and RLD's handpump. The EC
should have also taken note of statues of former presidents and
leaders of other parties. The statutes of Mayawati, who is 'dalit ki
beti' and has been four time chief minister, will not affect voters in
any way."

Political analysts say the letter is a part of a well-planned election
strategy. They say Mayawati is desperately looking for an issue which
can galvanize her dalit vote bank. She has picked the EC's directive
and is trying to make it a poll issue.

The analysts point out that Mayawati is trying to kill several birds
with one stone. "She is projecting that opposition parties and the EC
have ganged up against her statutes, which are a symbol of 'dalit
pride' and, also the directive to drape elephants not only hits the
BSP but also upper caste Hindus, particularly Brahmins," they said.

Deepak Mishra, another analyst, said by putting Mishra on the job,
Mayawati is trying to remove the distrust crept between the two
communities (Brahmins and dalits) during her rule. Mayawati won the
2007 assembly elections with absolute majority. She had given tickets
to 86 brahmins. The Brahmin votes also helped her win reserved
constituencies. As a result, of 89 reserved seats, BSP won 59, which
was also the highest number of reserved seats won by the party since
its inception.

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