By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: After BR Ambedkar, major political parties are busy appropriating BSP founder Kanshi Ram to win over crucial dalit voters for 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh., For the first time, the death anniversary of dalit icon Kanshi Ram on October 9 became major event for political parties in UP.
BJP also organised functions and meetings all over the state to pay tributes to Kanshi Ram. BJP has decided to spread the message of Kanshi Ram to every village. Now as a part of strategy, the party has decided to send 300 volunteers in assembly, constituencies to hold dialogue with dalit voters and explain them the message of Kanshi Ram. They will also be informed of detailed lists of work done by BJP government for the members of scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribes.
BJP has also decided to follow Kanshi Ram to use folk music and folk dance to connect with dalit population and spread the message to reach to dalit voters. It would be worth mentioning here that BJP is getting good number of dalit votes since 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Significantly BJP won almost all reserved constituencies in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Major opposition party Samajwadi Party is also appropriating BSP founder Kanshi Ram to win over dalit voters. Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also organised function at his party office to pay tribute to dalit icon Kanshi Ram.
In order to strengthen his PDA (pichda, dalit and alpsangkhayak) Akhilesh Yadav has inducted several BSP leaders in his party and gave them important assignment in the organisation. Akhilesh Yadav had already unveiled the statue of BSP founder at Rae Bareli on his birth anniversary in March this year. Now in his meetings with party leaders and workers, Akhilesh Yadav is asking them to spread the message of Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram.
Akhilesh Yadav got the boost when his upper caste candidate Sudhakar Singh got the support from dalits ignoring the call of BSP President Mayawati asking them to press the button of NOTA which ensure big victory in Ghosi assembly bypoll defeating BJP.
Significantly, in order win back it’s original vote back of dalits, Muslims and Brahmins, senior Congress leaders are working on the strategy which also include to appropriate BSP founder Kanshi Ram.
Congress leaders under the guidance of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadhra have decided to hold Kanshi Ram Gaurav samvad. Under this programme, dalits leaders will reach out to village level and hold dialogue with dalits and explain the work done by Congress governments in their states as well as in UP in the past.
It would be worth mentioning here that by and large maximum numbers of votes from scheduled caste and scheduled tribes went to Congress till the rise of BSP under the guidance of its founder Kanshi Ram. UPCC president Ajai Rai has also asked party leaders to reach out to all those dalit leaders who had either retired or became ineffective due to frustration with BSP leadership.
At a time when political commentators and experts are debating whether the BSP is becoming irrelevant politically or facing allegation of becoming B team of BJP, Mayawati too organised program to pay tribute to founder Kanshi Ram.
While Samajwadi Party, Congress and RLD are members of grand INDIA alliance Mayawati has announced to go alone in Lok Sabha polls. But still the confusion remains and all the three parties SP, BJP and the Congress are trying to have back door negotiations with the BSP supremo who still has command over dalit votes despite erosion. (IPA Service)