With assembly elections just six months away, political activities have intensified with Brahmin being in the fulcrum of all political discussions as there is a belief in UP politics that the party Brahmins support forms government in this state.
In 2007 Brahmin-Dalit combination catapulted Mayawati to power while in 2012 Brahmin was again in the centre stage in ensuring victory for Akhilesh Yadav when this upper caste combined with Backwards. In 2017, Brahmins voted en bloc for BJP and this resulted in an astounding victory for the saffron party when it won over 325 seats out of 403 seats.
The political parties have started sounding the poll bugle. Bahujan Samaj Party is the first party to get out of the bloc by holding Brahmin sammelans in Ayodhya on Friday. Though the party has named the meeting as Prabudh Varg (Intellectual class) meeting to escape Election Commission norms, it is totally a Brahmin sammelan addressed by BSP general secretary and MP Satish Chandra Mishra.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has also called for a meeting of Brahmin leaders of the party next week while a senior SP leader Manoj Pandey declared on Sunday that President of Uttar Pradesh Brahmin Sabha has called Yogi government as anti-Brahmin. He even claimed that Brahmins were better off during Akhilesh’s government.
These BSP sammelans are a well thought strategy of the party because there is a feeling in hoi polloi that this Yogi government is anti-Brahmin and pro-Thakur. Mayawati has tried to make use of this sentiment when she claimed that Brahmin were being harassed in the present BJP regime and in the 2022 assembly polls Brahmin will vote against the BJP.
The BJP has tried to set the house in order by roping in Jitin Prasada, a Brahmin, from Congress. The party also made Ajay Singh Teni, a minister in the Modi cabinet recently. There is speculation that a cabinet reshuffle will be carried out by the Yogi government with an eye on Brahmins.
In 2017 assembly polls, 56 seats in the state were won by Brahmin candidates of which 46 were BJP candidates. In the Yogi government eight Brahmins are inducted in Cabinet but only Dr Dinesh Sharma, Deputy CM and Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma were given prominent portfolios.
The Brahmin account for 10 % vote bank in the state but play a decisive role in UP politics. This is believed that it can influence elections of its own in about 100 seats but with a combination with other castes like dalits and backwards, the upper caste can influence elections in 223 seats.
The other political parties like BJP, Congress and SP know the importance of Brahmins and therefore are also planning to hold meetings in districts with focus on Brahmins. The winning formula is simple: whosoever will woo Brahmins better, will win Uttar Pradesh.