Allahabad HC bans caste-based rallies in UP

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Following Wednesday's apex court order barring convicted public representatives, political parties in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday were jolted by another judgement, this time by Allahabad High Court which banned caste rallies in the state. 

The court’s Lucknow bench imposed an immediate ban on caste based rallies, throwing spanner at the efforts by political parties to woo various caste vote banks ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The court order came on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a ban on caste based rallies filed by local lawyer Motilal Yadav.

The petitioner had contended that such rallies were vitiating the social environment in the state and they needed to be banned with immediate effect.

“The political parties have been organizing brahmin, thakur, vaisya rallies in large numbers....these rallies are hurting social harmony and were also against the constitution'', he contended further.

A bench comprising justice Umanath Singh and justice Mahendra Dayal, while imposing an interim ban on caste based rallies, issued notices to all the four major political parties-Congress, BJP, BSP and Samajwadi Party (SP).

The order comes barely a few days after BSP supremo Mayaawati addressed a “brahmin bhaichara” rally in the state capital. The BSP had held as many as 40 brahmin rallies across the state in a bid to woo the community ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

The SP too had held a few rallies of the brahmin, thakur and some other backward communities. Congress and BJP had not organized any caste based rallies. SP and BSP leaders here admitted that the court judgment has come as a blow for them and would seriously impact their preparations for the forthcoming general elections.

Congress leader Reeta Bahuguna Joshi and state BJP chief Luxmi Kant Bajpai welcomed the decisions saying that it would put an end to caste based politics in the state.

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