Samajwadi Party to renew Brahmin outreach, hold conferences from August-end
The Samajwadi Party (SP) will begin its Brahmin conferences from the end of next month and hold the first such prabuddh sammelan (intellectual meet) in Ballia in eastern Uttar Pradesh on August 24, followed by similar events in Mau and Auraiya on August 25 and 26.
The plan is part of the party’s effort to renew its Brahmin community outreach programme at a time when its rival political parties the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), too, are ready to play the Brahmin card for the 2022 UP assembly elections. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday formed a five-member committee to plan the Brahmin outreach, issues and strategy, said people in the party aware of the developments.
The effort to woo Brahmins (an upper caste) comes days after the BSP held a Brahmin conference in Ayodhya on Friday (July 23).
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday held a meeting at the SP’s state headquarters in Lucknow with five prominent Brahmin leaders in the party. Senior party leader and former UP assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, former cabinet ministers Abhishek Mishra and Manoj Pandey and former SP MLAs Sanatan Pandey and Santosh Pandey were the five present at the meeting. The leaders at the meeting decided to launch tours and conferences in different parts of the state to connect with the upper caste. The series of conferences will begin on August 24 in Ballia, where Abhishek Mishra recently inaugurated a Parshuram temple under the programme that he launched nearly a year ago with the SP to establish a shrine dedicated to Parshuram in each of the 75 districts of the state.
Lord Parshuram was a Brahmin warrior saint who many Brahmins worship.
The SP’s Brahmin conferences will attempt to tell people that all communities were taken care of when the Samajwadi Party was in power while they were being harassed under the present government, said a senior party leader.
Manoj Pandey, who was the religious endowment minister in the previous Akhilesh government, had launched the Shravan Yatra to facilitate pilgrimages at government expense.
While the SP government had declared Parshuram Jayanti a holiday, the present government withdrew it soon after assuming office.
The SP will also tell people about the work its government did for the improvement of Sanskrit schools in the state. The party will also highlight the fact that it gave tickets to 42 Brahmins in the 2012 UP assembly elections and 23 of them won.
Akhilesh Yadav and Abhishek Mishra both tweeted a picture of Sunday’s meeting.
Though Akhilesh captioned it “SP office”, Abhishek tweeted: “Thanks to the national president (Akhilesh Yadav) for giving so much time. We all discussed several important subjects.”