“How many Brahmins have been murdered in the last three years in Uttar Pradesh?”; “What steps have been taken by the state government for the security of Brahmins?”; “Would the government consider giving arms licences to Brahmins?”
Amidst Opposition charges over Brahmins being targeted in Uttar Pradesh, an MLA of the ruling BJP, Devmani Dwivedi, has reportedly submitted a set of questions, including above, to be raised in the state Assembly session starting Thursday.
As his list of questions surfaced on social media on Tuesday, Dwivedi told The Indian Express, “I have raised the issues I had to in questions to the Vidhan Sabha, and it would not be proper to discuss these until they are taken up by the Speaker. I would speak about the issue at the appropriate time.”
Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit said he was yet to see Dwivedi’s list of questions. “Questions by MLAs are segregated and sent to officials of the Assembly before reaching me,” he said.
The claim that the UP Police is going after Brahmins has been gaining ground in the state since the gunning down of gangster Vikas Dubey in Kanpur last month, followed by the killing of five of his associates, all Brahmins, in encounters.
Last week, Rakesh Pandey, an aide of controversial MLA Mukhtar Ansari, was killed in Lucknow.
Recently, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said Brahmins were feeling harassed in the state and that the 58 MLAs of the community belonging to the ruling BJP were also unhappy. Consequently, FIRs were lodged against Sanjay Singh in several districts of UP on charges of promoting enmity and trying to breach peace in the state.
Comprising around 10% of the state’s electorate, Brahmins constitute an influential vote bank. One reason for the Congress’s decline in UP is seen to be the shift of the Brahmin vote away from it to the BJP. However, under Yogi as CM, his fellow Thakurs are seen to wield the most sway.