By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi is making serious efforts to win over powerful backward caste Nishad community for Congress in Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka Gandhi has announced that her party would organise Nishad adhikar yatra all over state. She said that entire state would be sensitised regarding the issues of Nishad community.
Realising the importance of their votes, Priyanka Gandhi announced that she would fight for the rights of Nishad community. She said the party would ensure that people of Nishad community get justice.
Much significance is attached to recent visit of Priyanka Gandhi to Prayagraj where she met members of Nishad community.
It would be worth mentioning here that recently the members of Nishad community belonging to Baswar village on the bank of river Ganga in Prayagraj were assaulted by the police in the name of illegal mining and their boats too were damaged.
Hearing this news, Priyanka visited Prayagraj and met members of the Nishad community in Baspur village.
She interacted with victims belonging to Nishad community who were affected by police assault and found out how their boats were damaged.
The AICC general secretary was very upset and agitated with this assault as victims and their families all had participated in her Ganga yatra during 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Senior Congress leaders opined that the support to Priyanka Gandhi in Lok Sabha polls could have been the motivation for this assault.
Shocked by the damage done by the police, Priyanka Gandhi announced the immediate relief of Rs 10 lakhs to arrange funds for boats.
Priyanka Gandhi said that Nishad community had rights on the resources in around rivers all over the state.
Congress leader demanded immediate action against the policemen involved in attack on members of Nishad community in Baspur village in Prayagraj.
Priyanka Gandhi also asked state government to take action against those involved in illegal mining. She demanded from state government to issue white paper to tell the state about status of illegal mining in the state.
Priyanka has realised the importance of political clout of Nishad community that is why they were linked with her Ganga Yatra in 2019.
It may be mentioned here that Samajwadi Party realised the political power of Nishad community and gave Lok Sabha ticket in the past to bandit Queen Phoolan Devi from Mirzapur to win over the support of the community.
At that time Phoolan Devi was big symbol of atrocities on members of Nishad community by the members of upper caste.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s initiative paid rich dividends as not only Phoolan Devi became MP but Nishad community also supported party in subsequent elections.
Attempt was made by Samajwadi Party government to include Nishad community and other 16 OBCss in Schedule Caste and Scheduled tribe to gain politically.
However the proposal was stayed by the court and rejected by government of India.
Bahujan Samaj Party also gave importance to Nishad community and named stadium on Nishad iconic personality from Mahabharat Eklavya and built his statue during the regime of Mayawati.
Eklavya Sena was also floated by Nishad community to assert for the rights of the people.
With the low production of fishes and construction of bridges over rivers, the members of Nishad community is facing unemployment and poverty.
Realising hardship being faced by the Nishad community Priyanka Gandhi’s assurance gave healing touch to politically sensitive members of this backward community. (IPA Service)