From Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party supremo. Mayawati is unnerved at the prospects of her party at the next assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh scheduled in May 2017. After the BSP’s disastrous results at the Lok Sabha elections in May this year, the BSP chief made another mistake by not fielding party candidates in the by elections to the state assembly in September this year. The big success of her arch rival Samajwadi Party in the bypoll, has made the future of the BSP more critical.
The manner in which Samajwadi Party was able to win eight out of 11 assembly seats, it was quite evident that BSP voters also helped Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who succeeded in making inroads on BSP vote bank. Significantly enough dalit voters and Muslims who had so far been voting for BSP shifted to Samajwadi Party as it was in direct fight with BJP. So much so, Mayawati’s appeal to voters to transfer their votes in favour of eight powerful independents also failed. For the first time, Mayawati miserably failed to get her voter transferred to any other party of her choice.
Similarly Mayawati is also unhappy with situation when her party leaders are talking against upper caste and they issue statements asking party workers to do away with puja of Hindu gods. Mayawati is still keen to keep upper caste in good humor in the name of sarvjan hitai and sarvjan sukhai.
BSP supremo Mayawati was embarrassed when Leader of opposition and veteran BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya, at a party programme on the outskirts of Lucknow recently, asked party supporters not to worship Lord Ganesh and Goddess Gauri during weddings. “This is a Manuwadi tradition that believes in divide and rule. The custodians of Hindu religion will give respect and worship a pig as Varah, the mouse as Ganesh, the owl as Laxmi and the dog as a symbol of Bhairon but dalits are treated as outcasts in the religion. Are we worse than these animals?” he asked. Mr Maurya added that dalits were rulers on the true sense of the term and Samrat Mahapadanand and former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur are examples of this.
“But Manuwadi forces created divisions amongst us and captured power. They divided us in categories like OBC, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and now maha dalits and most backward castes. They (Manuwadi forces) make us put vermilion and money on cow dung but treat us with disdain. They are taking advantage of our innocence in the name of religion and this practice must stop”, he said.
So much so Swami Prasad Maurya asked party supporters to follow the path shown by Dr Ambedkar, the late Kanshi Ram and now Ms Mayawati and not to get misled by upper caste forces. He said that dalits had been duped for decades by such forces.
As a part of damage control, Mayawati issued the statement, in which she emphasized that the BSP respected all religions and believed that everyone had the right to practise any religion, any ritual that he wished to. She said that the party strongly believed in “Sarvjan Hitaye, Sarvjan Sukhaye” and believed in tolerance. In order to distance from the statement of party leader Swami Prasad Maurya, Mayawati made it clear that party had nothing to with his statement.
Although Mayawati tried to silence Swami Prasad Maurya but she realised that majority of her core voters had been taught by late Kanshi Ram to oppose the discrimination in the society of dalits by the upper caste for centuries. The core voters of Mayawati is restless with the manner in which key positions in the party and government were given by Mayawati to her close lieutenant Satish Mishra and his family members at the cost of persons belonging to dalit category. There is feeling in the core voters in party that if Mayawati herself was wooing upper caste in a big way then they should directly negotiate with BJP as happened in Lok Sabha polls when party could not open its account.
Under these circumstances, Mayawati affected major changes in the party hierarchy recently by sacking all the coordinators, booth in-charges and assembly coordinators and announcing formation of nine new zones across the state. In each zone, two divisions have been included for “more tight clasp” on local leaders and party cadres. In every zone there would be four senior party leaders looking after the interest of the party. Some party leaders disclosed that Mayawati has got down to micro-management of the party cadres keeping in mind the 2017 state assembly.
BSP supremo is believed to be planning an overhaul of the party so as to ensure that the migration of the Dalit vote bank to the BJP does not take place as also the party’s organizational structure is strengthened.
Under the new hierarchy, Kanpur and Lucknow have been merged into one zone and former minister and legislator Inderjeet Saroj and Ashok Siddhartha have been assigned the task of coordinating party work. Close aide and former minister RK Chowdhary will take care of Allahabad and Mirzapur. Party sources say the idea of the BSP supremo is to keep the party’s cadres on their toes and deliver victory in the 2017 elections. (IPA Service)