Mulayam's social engineering goes awry, Brahmins left red-faced

It was a meeting which had been billed as the Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav’s own brand of ‘social engineering’ to woo the Brahmin community in a bid to reap rich electoral dividends.

Instead it turned out to be a half-hearted attempt to win over the community and left many participants fuming over their humiliation.

SP’s much touted Brahmin Sammelan (meeting of the Brahmin community) here on Saturday turned out to be a major embarrassment for the party after both SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav failed to turn up.

Instead the PWD minister and Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav showed up and tried unsuccessfully to convince the Brahmins that Mulayam and Akhilesh were too busy to make it to the meeting.

He, however, thanked the Brahmins for supporting the SP in the recent Assembly polls in the state and said that he expected them to support the party again in the next general elections in 2014.

The Brahmin leaders of the SP, however, found it hard to convince the community members, who had arrived from all parts of the state. “We are feeling humiliated...if Mulayam was busy, Akhilesh Yadav could have come,” said an SP leader.

“The meeting had been planned much in advance and Mulayam Singh Yadav was the chief guest...he had given his consent...it is surprising that he did not come,” said another senior Brahmin leader of the party.

The SP had decided to hold the meet as it felt that the Brahmins were a neglected lot during the previous Bahujan Samaj Party regime. “Only a handful of Brahmin leaders benefitted during the previous government,” SP leader Manoj Pandey said.

The Brahmins had supported BSP in the 2007 assembly polls in a big way and together with the Dalits, had helped the party sweep the elections. In the recently-held Assembly polls, however, the Brahmins did not support the BSP.

Mulayam’s strong opposition to the UPA government’s attempt to reverse the Supreme Court order scrapping reservation in promotion was also being viewed as an attempt to appease the Brahmins and other upper castes only.

Though the Brahmins comprise only ten per cent of the total electorate, their votes assume significance if they are cast in combination with some other community.

The Brahmin-Dalit combination had greatly benefitted Mayawati in 2007 Assembly polls. The SP feels that the support of the Brahmins, especially on seats where ‘Yadavs or Muslims’ were in sizable numbers, could push their tally significantly in the 2014 Lok
Sabha polls.

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