BSP leader plays with religion

In a remark that could stir a huge controversy and cost the Bahujan Samaj Party upper castes’ votes, a senior party leader termed worship of ‘Lakshmi-Ganesha’ as ‘useless’.

The leader asked Dalits and backward communities not to worship the gods during marriage ceremonies.
The remarks could nip in party’s efforts to project itself as a ‘party for all’

“There is no use worshipping ‘Gauri’ (goddess Lakshmi) and ‘Ganesha’ at marriage ceremonies. It is nothing but a ploy by the upper caste people to enslave Dalits and backward communities,” Swami Prasad Maurya, said at a programme here on Sunday evening.

Maurya said the ‘Manuvadis’ (upper caste, especially the Brahmins) had no regard for ‘human beings’. “Hinduism has no place for humans. For it, the Dalits and backwards are Shudras (low caste people),” he said.

“Hindus can worship owls (carrier of Lakshmi) and rats (carrier of Ganesha). But they cannot give respect to the Dalits,” Maurya, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the UP Assembly said.
He said the Dalits and backward communities used to be the ‘rulers’ in the country but ‘Manuvadis’ adopted the ‘divide and rule policy’ and became the rulers.

However, BSP chief  Mayawati was quick to distance herself from Maurya’s remarks saying that they were not her party’s views.  The party believed in ‘sarvajan hitay, sarvajan sukhay’ (welfare of all the communities), she said.

“They may be Maurya’s personal views. BSP has nothing to do with them,” she said.
Maurya’s remarks could dent party’s support base among the Brahmins and other upper castes. Mayawati had been trying to shun the image of ‘anti-upper caste’ and off late she had appointed Brahmin leaders for important posts. The party had also given tickets to the highest number of Brahmins in the Lok Sabha polls and also in the 2012 Assembly elections.

In fact, she called it ‘social engineering’ which envisaged bringing together Brahmins and Dalits on one platform.

The party sources said Mayawati was ‘very angry’ with Maurya. Several Brahmin leaders of the party have also taken exception to his remarks.

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