Explained: Jitin Prasada and the Brahmin question before the elections in Uttar Pradesh
Updated: Jun 10, 2021 7:32:38 am
Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada, 47, who was one of the signatories of the letter written by congressional leaders demanding visible leadership and organizational elections within the party, joined the BJP on Wednesday (June 9). .
Prasada had been sulking for a long time – but the bigger question now is: what does his move from Congress to BJP mean politically, ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
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And the answer is: besides the obvious embarrassment this brings to Congress ahead of the elections, Prasada gave the BJP the opportunity to change the UP’s perception that it is not a very “pro-Brahmin” party. .
Over the past year and a half, Prasada has actively sought to advance his image as a simple “youth leader” and to present himself as a “Brahmin leader” instead.
He traveled across the state to meet Brahmin families who have been affected by crimes such as murder, rape, etc., and vowed to become their voice.
He took out a “Brahmin Chetna Yatra” through Uttar Pradesh to raise “Brahmin” issues and draw attention to the alleged atrocities committed against them.
In 2015, Prasada advocated reservations based on the economic context and explained how alienated the upper castes poor people feel.
At a time when the UP has a strong perception of the alleged “Thakurs dominance” in the administrative functioning of government, the enthronement of a nationally recognized leader like Prasada, who has made his voice heard on the problems of the Brahmins, could help The BJP counteracts this perception.
Brahmins are said to constitute between 12 and 14 percent of the votes in Uttar Pradesh – however, their influence goes much further; they are seen as “influencers” or “opinion makers” to other voters in Uttar Pradesh. In the best-known case, this was exploited by the BSP in 2007, when it won a majority in the state with its formula of social engineering comprising Dalits, Brahmins and Muslims.
The BJP has more than 50 Brahmin deputies, but only a few have any power. There is a common perception in the community that the government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is dominated by Thakurs.
Although the BJP has leaders like Dinesh Sharma as chief deputy minister and Brijesh Pathak as cabinet minister, it has not been able to convince the Brahmins that the party supports them.
A BJP MLC Brahmin reportedly recently sought justice for a female member of the gangster Vikas Dubey’s family.
Over the past two years, several attempts have been made in UP by all political parties to woo this community.
BSP leader Mayawati announced last year that if her party were elected to power in the assembly elections, it would install a statue of Parashuram. She had mentioned that in 2007, the Brahmins had supported the BSP with the Dalits, the arrears and the Muslims, and pointed out that her government had given adequate representation to the Brahmins.
Likewise, Abhishek Mishra, who was a minister in the PS government of Akhilesh Yadav, announced that Parashuram Jayanti would be declared a public holiday if the PS came to power. He too had promised to build a statue of Parashuram.
In 2017, Congress tried to reach out to the Brahmins, on the advice of political consultant Prashant Kishor. The party then chose Sheila Dixit as the face of its campaign, but failed to move the project forward after deciding to ally with the SP.