Akhilesh-Maurya locked in caste war

The war between the BJP and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh is now getting increasingly personal and even taking on a casteist turn.

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav is playing the Backward Caste card with a vengeance and is using deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya as a pawn.

The narrative that Akhilesh Yadav is trying to set is that OBCs are a neglected lot in the BJP and Maurya is an example of this.

He has been repeatedly trying to remind people that the BJP won the 2017 elections under Maurya’s leadership but the latter was denied the chief minister’s post.

Akhilesh recently ‘invited’ Maurya to muster the support of 100 MLAs from the BJP and the SP would make him the chief minister.

Maurya has reacted sharply to Akhilesh Yadav’s overtures and rebuffed him in clear terms. He termed the Samajwadi Party as ‘Samaptwadi Party’ and said that Akhilesh can only dream of returning to power now. His desire to come to power will not be fulfilled in the next 25 years, he added.

“Without power, Akhilesh Yadav is desperate. He is like fish without water,” said that deputy chief minister.

Akhilesh Yadav then retaliated with a tweet that said, “Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho The budget has been cut in your ministry. The money has not reached the departments of your ministry, the tenders could not be done. Are you hiding all these secrets, why are you smiling so much?”

The response from Maurya was — “Restless for power, Akhilesh Yadav’s party SP will not even open its account in Lok Sabha elections 2024, Modi wave in UP and across the country is stronger than ever!”

The war of words between the two leaders is clearly aimed at establishing their supremacy as backward leaders and demolishing each other’s importance as caste leaders.

To further queer the pitch, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar said that these leaders had no concern for OBCs and were working against the backward interests by fighting among themselves.

While Akhilesh’s diatribe against Maurya is not supported by his own party leaders, Maurya has found considerable support for himself in the BJP.

“The SP chief should have refrained from this kind of campaign which is uncalled for. Why should SP be bothered about how BJP is treating its OBC leaders? It is an unproductive controversy that will not bring any benefit,” said a senior SP leader.

BJP leaders, on the other hand, insist that Akhilesh Yadav’s attempts to create a divide within their party will prove futile.

“If he thinks he can divide the party on caste lines, he is mistaken. The BJP is too strong to be shaken by such tactics. Akhilesh Yadav is displaying his own insecurity by behaving like this. He should instead, focus on rebuilding his party,” said a BJP functionary.

Interestingly, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has maintained a distance on the issue so far.

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