After the Punjab government set up a board for the welfare of Brahmins in the state, the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is trying to capitalize on it. The Congress Brahmin leaders are elated with the move as they believe it might earn them a political dividend in Uttar Pradesh.
Congress leader and West Bengal In-Charge Jitin Prasada, who is spearheading a Brahmin movement under the Brahmin Chetna Parishad in UP, has written to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh thanking him for looking after the welfare of the community. He said that “the community is happy and will be indebted towards the Punjab Chief Minister.”The Punjab government on March 23 constituted the board with the term of two years to identify the needs and the problems of the community. But the Congress in UP has other goals to attract Brahmins towards the party as party leaders said that they are miffed with the BJP and the Congress is the party which cares for Brahmins.
Prasada said, “It was during the Congress regime in 1989 that the state had the Chief Minister from the community. Since then, all the parties were given opportunity to form the government but nobody made Brahmin the Chief Minister.”
The Brahmins prior to the emergence of the BJP had been voting for the Congress but with the rise of Hindutva, they have largely moved to the saffron fold except in 2007 when it voted for the BSP as its leader Satish Chandra Mishra was able to unite the community with the Dalits and catapulted the party to power. But the BSP could not maintain its hold on Brahmins and they slipped into the hands of the BJP.
But the BJP is more interested in an umbrella Hindutva vote bank rather than appeasing a particular community, said an analyst. The Congress which ruled the state till 1989 had Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims as its core voters, who have moved in three directions leaving the party in single digit in the Assembly.
Since 1989 when the Congress had its last government and the last Brahmin Chief Minister in N.D. Tiwari, the BJP has held the state many times, while the BSP and the SP also formed the government but no Brahmin could reach the top post.