BY: FAISAL FAREED
In a move to cash in on the “neglect” that several senior Brahmin leaders in Bharatiya Janata Party are facing, the Samajwadi Party has launched a voice message campaign in the Poorvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh terming the saffron party as anti-Brahmin.
A party leader in Gorakhpur, Kalishanker Yadav, has been tasked with circulating the message among the community members who make a sizeable chunk in several constituencies in the region.
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The 1:24 minute message has already been forwarded on nearly 75,000 mobile phones. In the message Kalishanker identifies himself as chairman, Anti Communal Front and a SP leader. Later he speaks on “an important appeal” and highlights the Brahmin leaders who have been sidelined by BJP.
“Remember, Brahmin leaders such as Murali Manohar Joshi, Harin Pathak and even Kalraj Mishra have been sidelined by Modi,” the message claims adding that when party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi cannot take care of senior leaders such as L K Advani in his party, how will will he take care of the country. The appeal ends with a request to vote for SP and Mulayam Singh Yadav “who is a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity” and “save UP from turning into another Godhara and Gujarat”.
Kalishanker also has released another 40-second appeal with the slogan “Modi Bhagao, Mulayam Lao”.
The message to Brahmins has created quite a stir in the eastern region of the state where BJP has pinned its maximum hope. The region has good number of Brahmins mainly in Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Dumariaganj, Maharajganj and Varanasi. The voice appeal has become a topic of discussion among people.
“I have got reports that some BJP leaders had opposed it. Other people, mainly Brahmins, have appreciated the appeal,” Kalishanker claimed while talking to The Indian Express.
Kalishanker is reported to be close to SP national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav. He is a former national executive member of Yuvjan Sabha. “Presently, I am not holding any post, but an active member of SP. I have been fighting against communalism and had got Ramgopal ji’s support in all my work,” he claimed.
On the voice appeal, he said that it is confined only to Poorvanchal and does not need any clearance from the party. “I am doing work, which is beneficial to the party,” he added.
SP too has adopted the spirit of Kalishanker’s voice message. Cabinet minister Manoj Pandey, who also heads the intellectual cell of the party, said, “A senior leader is a senior for everyone and we also respect them. But are pained to see them so helpless in BJP, which they had built. It is a conspiracy by Modi and Rajnath Singh to eliminate all the seniors from the party for their own benefit.”