In a first, Cong to begin mega Dalit connect in U.P. on Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Rai confirmed that the party proposes to launch a dialogue with the Dalits on the death anniversary of the BSP ideologue on October 9
In a first-of-its-kind move, the Congress is gearing up to win back Dalits and most backward classes (MBCs) and thereby make a dent in the support base of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh through ‘Dalit Gaurav Samvad’ that the Congress proposes to start on October 9—the death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram.
In the past, the Congress always tried to claim the legacy of Dalit icon and the Constitution shaper Dr BR Ambedkar while wooing the backward classes. The party’s dialogue with Dalits is proposed to end on November 26—the Constitution Day.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Rai confirmed that the party proposes to launch a dialogue with the Dalits on the death anniversary of the BSP ideologue. He said this was the party’s attempt to bring the Dalits into party fold.
The Congress’s decision to launch the Dalit Gaurav Samvad programme on Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary assumes significance as the BSP founder had a strong connect not only with Dalits but also with the extremely backward among the other backward classes.
In an apparent bid to woo the deprived sections, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had coined a new slogan ‘Jitni abadi utna haq’ ((greater population, greater rights)) while campaigning for his party in the recently concluded Karnataka assembly elections.
Incidentally, the BSP founder used nearly similar slogan “Jiski jitni sankhya bhari, utni uski hissedari’ (the greater the number, the greater the share) to woo the backwards, Dalits and the minorities etc.
“At the proposed Dalit Gaurav Samvad programmes, we will connect with 1 lakh influential Dalits (250 in every assembly constituency), across Uttar Pradesh. A state level Dalit leadership meeting, night chaupals in Dalit areas in every assembly constituency (total 4,000) besides discussions on Dalit agenda in every Lok Sabha constituency have also been proposed,” said UPCC organisation secretary Anil Yadav.
“Divisional level ‘Dalit Gaurav Yatras’ will also be organised and press conferences will be held in all district headquarters during the period,” Yadav further said. He added that an announcement about the meeting will be made at a meeting with the state party’s scheduled caste and scheduled tribe department soon.
The UPCC has been holding the conventions of the backward classes in various divisions and districts in the past few months. It also proposes to hold a larger state convention in Lucknow soon. Rahul Gandhi, while campaigning in Karnataka, had also questioned the Centre for poor representation of Dalits, tribals and OBCs on top government posts.
“Only 7% of the secretaries in the Government of India are Dalit, tribal or OBC. Is the population of these classes just 7% in India? If we have to give participation to everyone in the country, we will have to find out how much population belongs to which caste. Why is the PM not making the caste census data public,” asked Rahul Gandhi in a post on X (formerly twitter) in Hindi on April 24 earlier this year.