Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) focuses on the Other Backward Class (OBC) and Dalits for the 2022 Assembly elections, the Congress has started reaching out to the Brahmins who have been feeling marginalised in the present political scenario.
Senior Congress leader and former union minister Jitin Prasada, has embarked on a ‘Brahmin Chetna Yatra’ during which he will meet Brahmin families that have lost their kin in various crimes during the Yogi Adityanath regime.
Jitin Prasada started his Yatra from the Mainpuri district where a Brahmin girl student was found hanging inside a government boarding school. A case of sexual assault and murder was lodged with the police and later, on request of the girl’s family, the state government had even recommended a CBI enquiry. However, the CBI is yet to take up the case.
Prasada will also meet the family members of Hindu leader Kamlesh Tiwari who was murdered in his house in Lucknow on October 18. Tiwari was allegedly killed for his derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammad.
The Congress leader will call upon the kin of Mukesh Sharma, a Meerut-based lawyer who was killed in October and the family of journalist Ramesh Mishra who was shot dead in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Prasada has already met the kin of Satya Narayan Shukla in Amethi and Aman Mishra in Kannauj.
Prasada, however, said that officially his Yatra is not named ‘Brahman Chetna Yatra’, but he was invited to meet the families of the victims under the banner of organisation, Brahman Chetna Parishad, that had organised the programme.
“Our Yatra is not at all focussed for any particular community, but it is a matter of concern that most of the people killed in the state recently belong to the Brahmin community. The law and order in the state has collapsed completely and now even ministers like Swati Singh are threatening police officers directly. We will not just be meeting the families of the victims but also ensure that they get justice”.
Jitin Prasada, according to sources, is trying to establish himself as a prominent Brahmin face of the party and is consolidating the Brahmin voters in favour of the Congress, ahead of the 2022 state Assembly polls.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu endorsed Jitin Prasada’s initiative and said: “It is a good initiative to stand by the victims and ensure justice to their families. We will now be able to listen to their plight and share the pain they have been going through.”
BJP spokesman Harish Chandra Srivastava has ridiculed the initiative and said: “Congress leaders claim that they wear ‘janeu’ (holy thread) like Brahmins and are now shamelessly playing the caste card. The party has lost its political game and is practising the politics of caste.”