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Uttar Pradesh Congress plays caste game, woos Dalits

“We are taking out Dalit Swabhiman Yatras on this day to create awareness among Dalits and pay tributes to Ambedkar,” Alok Prasad said.

IANS | Lucknow |

In order to regain its lost ground in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Tuesday observed a ‘Dalit Swabhiman Diwas’ to woo the community and highlight the atrocities on the weaker sections in the non-Congress governments.

While it is wooing Dalits and OBCs, the Brahmins are being ignored by Congress, say state party insiders.

State head of the Congress Dalit cell, Alok Prasad, said that the significance of August 3 was that the proposal to appoint Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as the Union Law Minister in the Nehru cabinet was passed on this day.

“We are taking out Dalit Swabhiman Yatras on this day to create awareness among Dalits and pay tributes to Ambedkar,” he said. Congress also plans to hold a Dalit panchayat.

The state Congress has already held caste conferences for Nishad, Maurya-Shakya, Kushwaha, and Pal-Gaderia-Dhanger caste groups.

The move by the state unit to focus on castes has irked the senior party leaders who feel that Congress is simply following in the footsteps of the regional parties.

“We slam other parties for playing the caste and communal card but this is exactly what we are doing. Instead of focussing on issues, we are following the caste path which is detrimental to party interests,” said a former UPCC president.

Interestingly, the Congress state leadership has started criticizing other non-BJP parties instead of focusing its attention on the ruling BJP.

Uttar Pradesh Congress minority cell chairman Shahnawaz Alam has been attacking the Samajwadi Party for ignoring the victimisation of its leader Mohd Azam Khan and not opposing it.

Alam said that if anything untoward happens to Azam Khan, Akhilesh would be equally responsible for it.

A senior party leader said, “What exactly is the state leadership trying to do? We should be attacking the BJP but we are shooting down regional parties with whom we could have a post-poll alliance.”

While SP and BSP are trying to woo Brahmins who are disgruntled with the BJP, Congress has chosen to ignore Brahmins completely-even those within the party.

A senior political analyst said, “The problem with Congress is that it is completely directionless. They have no strategy and policy for the elections and each one is pulling in a different direction.”