Brahmins not sidelined in her party, says Mayawati


Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has refuted reports suggesting she was disillusioned with Brahmins and maintained that she was committed to her social engineering experiment of evolving a new alliance between Dalits and upper castes.

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“I fail to understand how the media came up with reports that our Brahmin candidate’s defeat in the Ballia Lok Sabha by-election had prompted me to dissolve the Dalit-Brahmin ‘bhai-chara’ committees set up as a part of Bahujan Samaj Party’s goal to carry all castes together and to ensure their common wellbeing,” Mayawati told reporters at a dinner meeting at her residence Sunday night.

“The committees had been disbanded well before the state assembly elections, so where was the question of disbanding them now,” she asked.

Terming reports in a section of the media as a part of the “opposition design to mislead Brahmins”, the chief minister pointed out: “I am confident that such nasty campaigns will have no effect on Brahmins who will continue to get the same prominence in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as before.”

Asked about last week’s closed-door meet of her party leaders in Lucknow that the reports referred to, Mayawati said: “Well, all I had told my party men was to brace themselves up for the parliamentary elections.

“On what basis have you said that Brahmins were being sidelined (in the BSP)? Has any Brahmin been removed from any important position? All Brahmins leaders in my party continue to be in the positions entrusted to them months ago.”

Attributing the party’s defeat in the by-election to the “undue influence of feudal forces who have continued to dominate the politics of the region”, she said: “There was also the sympathy factor for late prime minister Chandra Shekhar that gave an edge to his son Neeraj Shekhar.”

Replying to queries about the party’s performance in the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh last month, she said: “We got three percent votes in Gujarat while we polled seven percent vote in Himachal, where BSP also opened its account with one seat.”

She blamed the Congress for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory in both states.