Social engineering

2022 UP polls: Political parties scramble to win over Dalits through outreach programmes

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Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Caste will play a major role in the 2022 UP assembly elections. This is manifested by the fact that players in the UP political landscape are scrambling to woo voters by organising conclaves focussed on specific castes.

While BSP has just done with the Brahmin sammelans to revive its Brahmin-Dalit formula of social engineering through which it had come to power in 2007, both Samajwadi Party (SP) and ruling BJP are making efforts to win over Dalits by organising outreach programmes this weekend.

While SP has announced a special 15-day programme commencing Sunday in rural areas, the BJP has planned the national executive meeting of its SC wings for two days starting Saturday in Varanasi, PM Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.

With an intent to be back in the saddle in Lucknow in 2022, the SP is holding various caste oriented outreach programmes. The party’s Brahmin outreach programme with “prabudh varg sammelans” and “Shiv sewak sammelan” is already underway. Now it is widening its campaigns through Samajwadi Lohia Vahini which has been entrusted with  organising “gaon-gaon Dalit samwad (Dalit discourse across villages).” The campaign would conclude on December 5, said the party’s official spokesman Rajendra Chaudhury.

“The intent is to expose BJP government’s anti-people, anti-farmer, anti-Dalit, anti-backward, anti-reservation policies and to take the socialist ideology, actions and policies forward among the people,” SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.

Lohia Vahini state president Ram Karan Nirmal will take charge of the programme to be held in Kanpur, Auraiya, Kannauj, Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Firozabad, Agra and Mathura.

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According to Chaudhary, the seven-phase programme will start from Allahabad, and its last phase will be in Lucknow on December 5.

The ruling saffron brigade’s  national executive meeting of its SC wings was inaugurated by party national president JP Nadda through a video link. The meeting will conclude on Sunday in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Varanasi.

According to a senior BJP leader, the discussion in the meeting would focus on the achievements of the state government and various schemes introduced for those belonging to the Scheduled Caste.

Calling it a routine meeting held every three months, the BJP leader claimed that the party would go among the SCs to make them aware of the schemes meant for them and at the same time put the problems faced by them on the party table.

The BJP sources claimed that the occasion would be used to strategise the upcoming election in five states and the guidelines will be issued for the same in the meeting.

The prominent among the possible participants of the two-day confabulations include BJP General Secretary CT Ravi, MP Vinod Sarkar, party’s SC wing president Lal Singh Arya, minister Virendra Singh, 70 state executive general secretaries, national secretary presidents of the states’ SC wing and other MPs and ministers.

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