Tuesday, February 7, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Mishra unimpressive in BSP’s Brahmin-Dalit lab


Mishra unimpressive in BSP's Brahmin-Dalit lab
Prashant Pandey Posted online: Tue Feb 07 2012, 07:17 hrs
ALLAHABAD : In the laboratory of Bahujan Samaj Party's Dalit-Brahmin
social engineering that fetched it rich electoral dividend in the last
Assembly election, the party's Brahmin face, Satish Chandra Mishra, is
trying his best to repeat the feat by holding a series of meetings
with community members.

But his appeal, at least in cities like Allahabad and Varanasi, does
not seem to cut much ice with the community feeling let down by the
BSP and, particularly by Mishra.

Mishra addressed three meetings in Allahabad on February 3 and then
hastened to Varanasi and Chandauli. He will visit Mirzapur and then
enter Bundelkhand through Chitrakoot, where too he is scheduled to
address many meetings. In Allahabad, where he had addressed two other
meetings - in Karchana and Soraon (reserved) constituencies - the
overall number of people turning up to listen to him was anything but

In his meetings, Mishra trains gun on Congress and its general
secretary Rahul Gandhi, but at the same time he does not misses the
opportunity to tell people how BSP "has honoured Brahmins by giving
them most number of tickets in the Assembly elections this time too".
The focus clearly is on keeping the Brahmins in good humour.

But leaders of the Brahmin organisations are reluctant to attend his
meetings, as they do not seem to be in a mood to vote for BSP as they
did in 2007. Apart from a general disenchantment with the BSP on
various issues, Mishra's own personal equation with those who could
matter seems to have gone downhill.

"Whatever he said during his meetings about the local candidate may
have been true. But his personality is not something we are going to
be enamoured by. He was not seen all these five years and now he has
come to talk about our interests," said Pandit Raja Ram Shukla,
general secretary of Kanyakubj Brahmin Sabha (Prayag). Shukla, along
with a couple of other members of his outfit, had gone to attend the
meeting addressed by Mishra in Allahpur are on February 3 in support
of BSP candidate from City (North), Harsh Vardhan Vajpayee. He added
that there was no one-to-one dialogue with Mishra. "I don't think he
is going to be effective even in his native place of Kanpur," said

The organisers attributed it to paucity of time. "He does not have the
time to go around and meet everybody. But everybody has been invited
and asked to meet him during the election meetings. He has been
listening and will listen to everybody," said one of the coordinators
of the Bhai-Chara Committee of the BSP in Allahabad, speaking on the
condition of anonymity.

But the president of the Brahmin body, Girish Chandra Mishra, simply
refused to attend the meeting. "I was invited by the party. But I told
them I will not share the dais in the capacity of the president of the
Samaj, as I do not want a strong BSP. A decision on individual
candidates may differ due to various issued involved, but in so far as
the BSP is concerned, I don't want the platform of my organisation to
be used," said Mishra. "But, I know even people at the top echelons
from our community, who have found it difficult to get across to him
(Satish Chandra Mishra) even on mobile phone," he added.

In Varanasi, where the Brahmins have initiated an attempt for
political assertion by forming the Sarvjan Mahasabha, the rejection of
BSP's overture towards Brahmins seems to have been clearer. Sheetla
Prasad Pandey, who handles the media affairs for the outfit's nominee
from Varanasi Cantonment, Colonel Ranjeet Upadhdyaya, said: "There
were a few initial feelers from the BSP's office-bearers. But when
they realised that the Brahmins, along with Bhumihars and even some
Kshatriyas have come together, the invitations stopped." Pandey put
forth caste equations to claim that Col Upadhayay would spring a
surprise in Varanasi (Cantt), a strong hold of the BJP.

Rameshwar Dayal Dikshit, national president of the Kendriya Brahmin
Sabha, commented sarcastically: "Now, he (Satish Chandra) has come out
to ask for votes!... I have been talking to my organisation's
office-bearer in Lucknow too. They are saying that the Brahmins were
simply not in favour of either Satish Chandra or the BSP itself," said
Dikshit. He added that if Mishra was really serious about engaging
Brahmins, this (the series of meetings) should have begun much


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