In a first in nearly a decade, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Monday will hold a dharna against the policies adopted by the state and central government.
The move marks a strategic shift in the BSP’s approach in taking up public issues as it has stayed away from holding any agitations so far and only followed its target of acquiring political power “to effect the social equality”.
The decision to hold the dharna, insiders say, has come after the BSP’s rout in the recent Lok Sabha elections where it did not manage to win even a single seat, and to counter BJP’s aggressive protests against the Samajwadi Party government in the recent past.
The last dharna that the BSP held in the state was to protest against the vandalism of party chief Mayawati’s statue at Ambedkar Park in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area in 2012 but party leaders do not seem to recall any recent agitation on public issues.
BSP national general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui said the party will hold the dharna opposite UP Vidhan Sabha to protest against the deteriorating law and order and increasing crimes against women under the SP government in UP and the increasing inflation under BJP-led central government.
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Siddiqui said while Mayawati will be busy in Parliament in Delhi, all senior leaders of the party from the state will attend the dharna.
The dharna could also be seen alongside Mayawati’s other significant move recently when she visited the families of Badaun victims of alleged murder and gang rape. It, too, was first such visit by her in nearly eight years when she went out to meet the common people.