BSP general secretary Satish Mishra, who engineered the thumping victory of the party in 2007, is reeling under double pressure. His party BSP pins high hope on him to rewrite the success story of 2007 on one hand; he owes answer to his own community, Brahmins, regarding the work done by the BSP government during last five years for the betterment of the community, on the other. He also finds it difficult to answer that if Brahmins are presumably credited for the party’s victory in 2007, then why their share in ticket distribution has been slashed instead of rewarding them by increasing their quota in ticket distribution for the state elections. Mishra’s dilemma is clearly apparent in his speeches delivered in the public meetings prior to polls. He is seen making all possible efforts to woo the support of his community again this time. He is making all kind of promises to generate a sense of hope among Brahmins for his party. Commencing his poll campaigns on Wednesday, Mishra interacted with people first in Gonda and then in Bahraich.

Public response for Mishra

Normally a crowd of two to three thousand people is considered enough to mark the success of a public meeting during campaign for assembly elections.But in the political circles, nobody is concerned about the crowd thronging at the meetings addressed by Mishra. All eyes are focused on the number of individuals from the Brahmin community attending the gatherings. An election rally was addressed by the BSP leader on Friday (January 20) in the Wazirganj area of Gonda district. The rally was meant to interact with the voters of three adjoining assembly seats- Mankapur, Tarabganj Gonda and Harraiya Basti. BJP has fielded Brahmin candidates from Tarabganj and Harraiya whereas a Dalit candidate has been fielded by the party from Mankapur which is reserved for Scheduled Caste. When asked to the local workers of the party about the size of the crowd, first they said that 2000 chairs were arranged. But sensing that the news reporter was trying to gauge the volume of crowd on the basis of the number of chairs, they immediately manipulated the number by saying that 5000 chairs were lying over there. But a Nankau Pandit, sitting in the audience, said that about 700 Brahmins were present in the meeting out of about 2500 people in the crowd.

Similar scene in other districts: Besides Gonda, similar scene was apparent in the public meetings addressed by BSP general secretary in other districts like Barabanki, Sitapur and Bahraich. He addressed two meetings in Barabanki- one in Satrikh meant to interact with the people of Zaidpur, Haidargarh and Dariyabad assembly seats. Second meeting was held in Fatehpur meant to interact with the people of Kursi, Ramnagar and Barabanki assembly seats. It is estimated that about 30 to 40 percent Brahmins were part of the crowd in these meetings. In another meeting addressed by Mishra in Bahraich aimed at interacting with the people of Mahasi and Balha, about 500-600 Brahmins were part of a crowd of 2000-2500 people. But Mishra’s meeting in Sitapur meant to address the people of Mahasi and Balha seats, registered comparatively larger participation of the people.

Emotional speeches to move voters: Satish Mishra is delivering emotional speeches which are especially aimed at moving Brahmins in BSP fold. He is devoting most part of his speech in talking about the issues concerning the Brahmins. Beginning his speech with paying homage to the BSP patriarch late Kanshiram, he ends with expressing concern over lack of unity within the Brahmin community. He appears regretful for never-ever-seen unity among Brahmins. Citing the adverse impact of the lack of unity within the community, Mishra says that a time came when there were just 10 Brahmins in the state assembly out of 403 members and three Brahmins out of 80 Lok Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh. Speaking further, Mishra adds that in local bodies like Panchayats and Municipal corporations, the representation of Brahmins was much lower than the above two bodies which presented a murkier picture about the representation of Brahmins in the state politics. Boasting over the alliance between Brahmins and Dalits in the state, Mishra adds that realizing the importance of the community, BSP allotted 80 assembly seats to Brahmin candidates out of which 42 clinched victory. On 89 reserved seats in the state, Brahmins strongly rallied behind Dalit candidates of BSP which resulted in the victory of 61 party candidates. But in past, in the absence of an alliance between Brahmins and Dalits, the party was able to win mere 18-19 seats out of the total reserved seats.

Why the quota slashed: Mishra is realizing that the people of his caste are unhappy over the shrinking quota for Brahmin candidates of BSP. In a bid to quench the displeasure of the community, he says that party had allotted 80 tickets to the members of Brahmin community and this time 75 tickets have been allotted to Brahmins. Five seats are less because of delimitation of constituencies in the state. Sometimes political compulsions dominate the decisions of the party. If BSP is voted to power once again, the credit for the victory will go to Brahmins.

What good BSP regime did for Brahmins: Opposition parties are alleging that BSP came to power owing to overwhelming support of Brahmins in 2007, but the harvest of their contribution was reaped by only Satish Mishra family. Rejecting the allegations, Mishra says that such allegations are a part of the opposition’s attempt to create a rift within the community and keep the Brahmins deprived of their rights. He claims that he is working to ensure BSP’s victory only to serve the interest of Brahmins.
More shares for the community this time: Mishra reassures the community that after BSP retaining power for the second consecutive term, more people from Brahmin community will be appointed on party posts and in the government.