Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and SP are vying with each other to attract non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBC). The ruling BJP has held 22 meetings of representatives of various OBCs in Uttar Pradesh in the last one month, while the SP has planned 75 similar ‘picchda varg sammelans’ of OBCs.
The SP started the sammelans from Amethi on Tuesday. In the next 12 days, meetings will be held in Sultanpur, Jaunpur, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Mirza-pur, Allahabad, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Rae Bareli.
SP state president Naresh Uttam Patel said, “The sammelans will be held in every district of the state to expose the BJP, which is doing drama to mislead OBCs by holding Samajik Pratinidhi Sammelans of backward classes. We have to tell OBCs that they are not getting due benefits of reservation because of wrong policies of the BJP government. The BJP government at the Centre announced constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes, but the state OBC Commission is defunct for two years.”
The BJP held separate Samajik Pratinidhi Baithaks in the state capital for different OBC castes, including Yadavs, in the last one month. The meetings concluded on Monday. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed around eight meetings while Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, a non-Yadav OBC leader, attended every event and promised to honour OBC icons by developing roads named after them.
The SP, on its part, has directed its MLAs, MLCs, former MPs and former MLAs who are OBCs and all other OBC leaders to take part in their sammelans in their respective districts.
A Samajwadi Party leader associated with the programme said, “Yadavs and Muslims are a core vote base for the party. But whenever we come to power, we get support of other OBC castes like Prajapati, Rajbhar, Maurya, Nishad. We need their support.”