Ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, several political parties have already begun appeasement politics to grab the vote share. And, Congress, as usual, has once again dump Brahmins for Muslim Appeasement. Recently, the UPCC has started distributing its election manifestos in front of 8432 Mosques. Reportedly, the promises mentioned in the manifesto are a clear attempt of the party to retain Muslims for their vote bank.
Distribution of election manifestos in front of Mosques
The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) minority department on Friday launched a campaign to distribute a 16-point election manifesto containing some promises. The Committee also stated that the manifestos will be distributed in front of 8432 mosques after Friday Namaaz.
UPCC minority Chairman Shahnawaz Alam explained, “We are distributing this 16-point sankalp patra drawing the attention of people in front of the main mosques in all the assembly constituencies after Friday prayers. We will make the distribution in front of 8432 mosques on four Fridays (September 24 to October 15) to reach out to nearly 2.5 million people. We will distribute the sankalp patras in front of at least six mosques every Friday across the state.”
“A committee headed by former Union minister Salman Khurshid has been constituted to work out the Congress manifesto for the 2022 assembly election. We will request the manifesto committee to incorporate some of the points in the party’s election manifesto for 2022 polls,” Alam further said.
Manifesto for Muslim appeasement
The election manifesto to be distributed by UPCC incorporates several promises that Congress proposes with the motive to appease the Muslim population. These promises include withdrawal of cases registered during the protests against CAA-NRC (Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register for Citizens) if Congress is voted to power in 2022. Additionally, the manifesto also proposes compensation to the “innocent” persons against whom the cases under cow protection law have been dismissed by the high court.
Uttar Pradesh BJP took to Twitter to slam the Congress Party for appeasement politics and took a dig at Priyanka Gandhi for the same. The tweet said, “From protesting against Ram temple to shedding tears for terrorists, Congress has always been doing politics of appeasement. Now Congress has set out on a mission to distribute its Sankalp Patra outside mosques in UP. @priyankagandhi Whose ‘first right’ is on the promises of his election manifesto?”
राम मंदिर के विरोध से लेकर आतंकियों के लिए आंसू बहाने तक कांग्रेस हमेशा तुष्टिकरण की राजनीति करती रही। अब कांग्रेस यूपी में अपना संकल्प पत्र मस्जिदों के बाहर बांटने के मिशन पर निकली है। @priyankagandhi को यह बताना चाहिए कि उनके चुनावी संकल्प पत्र के वादों पर ‘पहला हक़’ किसका है? pic.twitter.com/FBqXemYKsV
— BJP Uttar Pradesh (@BJP4UP) September 26, 2021
Moreover, with the proposals in the manifesto, UPCC also attempted to attack Samajwadi Party as the latter has a tight grip on the Muslim vote bank. The party has promised to open the tanneries that were closed when SP was in power along with a judicial probe into the riots that took place during the tenure of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. The promise for the action to punish those found guilty by the Mathur Commission (that probed the communal violence in Kanpur in 1992) is also incorporated in the election manifesto.
Professor SK Dwivedi, former head of the department of political science, Lucknow University said, “Muslims have been a traditional vote bank for the Congress. The Muslims vote for a candidate who can defeat the BJP. This is an obvious effort to bring back the traditional voters back to the Congress. The move though has been made close to 2022 elections may work to some extent only.”
Congress dumped Brahmins
Congress’s ‘Hindu politics’ did not last even as they dumped Brahmins to embrace the Muslim population. There was a time when Congress had a grip on the Brahmin vote across UP, but with Rita Bahuguna, Jitin Prasada, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, and Lalitesh Tripathi leaving the party, Congress has lost Brahmin base in Uttar Pradesh. However, from the past few years, Congress has been relentlessly appeasing the Muslim population.
Earlier this week, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi, who has been associated with the Congress for over 100 years, decided to quit the party. When asked about the reason behind quitting, he cited that he was sidelined by the party. He said, “When dedicated party workers who stood with the party in hard times are being sidelined, then it is not at all justified to stay in the party,” he said Thursday, adding that it was a tough decision because of the shared history.”
Earlier this year, a prominent Brahmin face of the UP Congress, Jitin Prasada, had also left the party to join the BJP. As per the details by a source, “Team Priyanka”, associates of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who manages her activities in UP continuously sidelined Prasada. This led Prasada to take an exit from the party and join BJP. And, Yogi Adityanath, recently inducted him into his ministry as a cabinet minister.
Moreover, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, along with her brother Vijay Bahuguna also left the Congress party in 2016 because of being neglected by the party, both of them later joined the BJP.
According to reports, a senior UP Congress leader said, “Congress was the number one choice for Brahmins, but now most of our prominent Brahmins leaders have left the party. We are left with Pramod Tiwari, (his daughter) Aradhana Misra and Rajesh Mishra in the name of Brahmin leaders. Though they have a stronghold in their constituencies, they are promoted as pan-UP leaders.”
Thus, it can be said that the shift in the party’s focus towards wooing OBCs and Muslims is the reason why Hindus have lost their trust in Congress. However, it is too late for the party to resurrect itself in the state as the elections are just a few months away. And it also seems that the Muslim appeasement might not benefit the Congress party because Owaisi led AIMIM and Akhilesh Yadav led SP will grab all the Muslim votes.