BJP most casteist party, says Akhilesh

Lucknow, Apr 26 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/26/2019 12:22:52 PM IST

The BJP is the most casteist party, dividing people on the basis of castes and spreading hatred among religions, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday.

“Like the British policy of “divide and rule, they [BJP] want to divide us and rule,” he said at an election rally in Jhansi. He charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of accusing them (SP) of being casteist. Yadav was targeting the BJP for its allegation that the SP had favoured only the Yadavs and ignored the rest of the Backward Castes (BCs). In Jhansi, where the OBCs (Other Backward Classes) are in a sizeable number--sitting BJP MP Uma Bharti (denied ticket) is herself a Lodh OBC-- Yadav’s remarks appear to be an appeal for unity among the BCs who are aggressively wooed by the BJP. Yadav said his party was wrongly defamed and accused of caste discrimination in distribution of welfare benefits, for instance, laptops. “We didn’t discriminate. The BJP says it was a government of Yadavs. The BJP people should tell us if there is even a single Yadav DM or SP in Uttar Pradesh,” said the former Chief Minister.
Referring to the members of the Dalit and OBC castes--Prajapati, Nishad, Kurmi, Valmiki, Pal, Rathore, he said that though these communities were more in numbers (in comparison to the upper castes), they were deprived of their due rights and honour.
“The election is also about this, that if we Samajwadis get an opportunity, we will count everybody [caste census] and provide them rights and honour as per their population. There is is nothing wrong in this,” he said. The BJP had sought votes by levelling charges of cow slaughter during the SP tenure and promised that it would protect the cow. “It was to defame us, but later we came to know that the BJP is providing benefit to the (beef) trade in Pakistan and Bangladesh,’ he said.
To highlight the stray cattle menace in the State,  Yadav mentioned an incident on Thursday of a stray bull ‘venturing’ into a makeshift helipad of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) rally in Kannauj. It ran amok and injured two persons, including a policeman who desperately tried to grapple with it. Photos of the bull tossing the two men with its horns were widely shared on social media.
“What has BJP made Uttar Pradesh? [Stray] bulls are roaming around here and there,” he said.
Narrating the incident jocularly, he said the bull had come to the helipad with a darkhwast [plea] to register its pareshani [grievance] with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It mistakenly entered the SP-BSP rally thinking it would find Mr. Adityanath there. But after creating a ruckus that lasted for 30 minutes, it left realising that it had come to the wrong helipad.
In Jhansi, the SP has fielded former MLC Shyam Sundar Yadav. He faces the BJP’s Anurag Sharma.


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