Misra defends BSP’s Brahmin outreach and says get together stands for sarv samaaj; insists BSP has been lively and elevating points in Parliament and courts; and says that whereas the get together is able to again the Cong on points, it can achieve this on its phrases. The session was moderated by Chief of Bureau & Political Editor Ravish Tiwari.
RAVISH TIWARI: After an extended interval of inactivity, the BSP has sounded the ballot bugle in Uttar Pradesh with a sequence of public conferences. What prompted it?
It’s not fully right to say that we began doing this all of a sudden. For the previous one-and-a-half years, public conferences haven’t been attainable due to the pandemic. Regardless of that, we managed to have 62 conferences in numerous districts, with at the least 200 individuals every. Whereas the Brahmins got here to my workplace, related conferences have been held at Behenji’s (get together chief Mayawati) place. The second the Covid-19 instances dropped in UP, we started (our conferences). It’s not that we have been silent, the get together has been working proper as much as the sales space stage, and we’re decided to throw out the BJP authorities within the state.
RAVISH TIWARI: However you might be accused of launching your marketing campaign with caste-based occasions?
We referred to as it ‘Prabuddha Sammelan (intellectuals’ conferences)’. Little doubt, in all my conferences, 90 per cent of the attendees have been Brahmins, however there have been others too. There have been advocates, medical doctors, engineers… So it wasn’t a ‘jaativaad’ occasion. In UP, Brahmins and Dalits are dealing with most points. The best way encounters and murders are taking place… If somebody complains, he faces inquiry. All these individuals who have been struggling urged me to return out… They need 2007 to return again [the last time BSP came to power], they need the brotherhood of the Brahmin and Dalit communities to return. The social engineering… nobody ever thought the communities might come collectively. We fashioned a majority authorities.
RAVISH TIWARI: What points will you elevate within the 2022 polls?
Regulation and order, improvement, atrocities on ladies, atrocities on caste strains… Persons are once more speaking about Mayawati’s improvement work, how she dealt with regulation and order and didn’t even spare her personal MP… At the moment one barely sees any improvement, we solely see pages and pages of commercials. (Mayawati) gave employment to individuals from all sections. Work on the primary Delhi-Noida expressway was began in her time. An enquiry was positioned on it after our time period, after which the identical authorities inaugurated it! The Congress, Samajwadi Party, everybody protested in opposition to the Jewar airport, and at the moment they’re all batting for it… Work on Lucknow Metro was began in our time. We ensured the all-round improvement of 29,500 Ambedkar villages. About 29,000 new major faculties have been opened; seven international-level universities have been arrange… She opened 23 new districts, which got here with new roads, hospitals, faculties… She improved the electrical energy scenario in UP… In our five-year time period, there was one rape case. At the moment, we hear of 1 rape each two hours… So that’s the distinction. (Mayawati) has put the agenda on the desk, and has promised to take UP the place it needs to be… At the moment we’re seeing Rs 300 crore being spent by individuals to propagate themselves. It’s a sin. Lecturers are going with out wage, individuals are not getting pensions, after which you might be mocking everybody by placing signboards saying that we’re giving 5 kg grain every to fifteen crore individuals. However the price of the bag with pictures of BJP leaders is greater than the foodgrains. Is that justified?
LIZ MATHEW: The BJP has additionally been focussing on Dalit votes in UP, and the get together’s caste method has labored to date. How will you consolidate your vote base within the face of such stiff competitors from the ruling get together? Additionally, what do you make of the Bhim Military’s affect amongst Dalits in UP?
All these individuals and events are propped up by the BJP, whether or not it’s him (Bhim Military chief Chandrashekhar Azad) or (AIMIM chief Asaduddin) Owaisi. They’re hardly going to do any injury to us. They may lose their very own seat in the event that they contest an election there. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are behind Behenji like a rock, which ensured that we obtained 2.62 crore votes within the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. We obtained no seats however we have been the third largest get together even then and now too. So individuals from these castes know who has labored for them. If they’re being spoken about now, it is just and solely due to her (Mayawati). It isn’t that she has constructed the Kanshiram Smarak in Noida, however she has executed great work for them… When BJP leaders go to (Dalit) houses, their meals is taken from their very own houses, they’re simply proven consuming with them or washing their toes… However these individuals vote for Behenji. Why? It’s as a result of she doesn’t bask in these photo-ops. She has taken them out from their huts and given them pucca houses… Now, as soon as once more we are attempting to revive the brotherhood between Brahmins and Dalits. We’re a sarv samaaj get together. We’re reaching out to the uncared for, whether or not Brahmin or Dalit.
BHUPENDRA PANDEY: Why have there been so many suspensions and expulsions within the BSP just lately, together with of senior leaders equivalent to Lalji Verma and Ram Achal Rajbhar?
We don’t comply with the philosophy that simply because somebody is a senior chief, or an MP or MLA, they need to not face motion for anti-party exercise. We fielded Ramji Gautam for the Rajya Sabha polls. Within the final minute, a few of our get together’s MLAs supported the SP candidate. What could be a larger anti-party exercise? Who has made them huge leaders? The get together. And so the get together is most essential. If you happen to have a look at the careers of individuals whose names you take, you will notice that they’ve been made zero-to-hero by Mayawati. Through the years, many such individuals have come and gone within the BSP, and this time too, numerous new faces are coming.
SHUBHAJIT ROY: The months of April and Could noticed acute scarcity of beds and oxygen and even political leaders like your self couldn’t maintain the federal government accountable. Why ought to individuals belief you with their vote then?
Covid has put us all to disgrace. Let me inform you my very own expertise. I’ve helped at the least 2,500 sufferers in getting remedy. For these one-and-a-half months, I actually didn’t sleep, attempting to handle oxygen and so on. We opened a campus for about 2,500-3,000 labourers who couldn’t journey, and organized for his or her meals. However sure, we weren’t giving sound bites on TV about it; we have been simply doing our work. That’s how our get together is. The extent of Covid mismanagement in UP is unimaginable. They (the federal government) began taking motion in opposition to those that identified the mismanagement. We visited the ghats, the cremation areas, and have been shocked to see that just about 100 our bodies have been being burnt in a line. We even helped in arranging wooden for some… Our bodies have been being washed away within the Ganga… The place did all the cash allotted for Covid go? They have been blaming the media for exhibiting the our bodies. However what the media was exhibiting was much less. We have been seeing the scenes at hospitals. Many sufferers died of starvation.
VANDITA MISHRA: We’ve had many agitations within the latest previous — pupil protests, anti-CAA protests, the farmer agitation, Dalit protests. Nonetheless, the BSP has not been seen in any of those. People who find themselves in jail at the moment, dealing with sedition prices, UAPA, they’re activists who don’t belong to any get together. For a celebration that speaks for probably the most marginalised, isn’t this a failure?
Our individuals have at all times been agitating, however in a unique method. We don’t consider in tod-phod. Throughout the Dalit agitations, we have been current all around the nation. Two of our individuals died in firing in Madhya Pradesh. In UP, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, over 100 of our individuals have been put in jail… In the case of instances of sedition, UAPA, we’ve been combating for them in courtroom, attempting to make sure their launch. We don’t do danga-fasaad on streets. We don’t cease trains, buses, destroy authorities property. We protested in Parliament for farmers. Our personal members are farmers and they’re protesting. After we kind the federal government, we’ll have a look at all points. Tomorrow in case you write one thing, even you’ll not be spared. It’s an undeclared Emergency.
MANOJ C G: There’s a lot speak of Opposition unity on the nationwide stage. Sharad Pawar talks about it, Mamata Banerjee too. Sonia Gandhi held a gathering. However the BSP will not be very passionate about these efforts. Even in Parliament, generally you attend joint Opposition conferences, generally you don’t. The BSP stays absent when some essential Payments are put to vote.
We’re at all times with the Opposition, I’ve myself attended conferences. Whether or not it was the Congress authorities earlier, even after we have been providing them outdoors assist, or the BJP now, you’ll be able to see that. However our get together takes its personal resolution on issues, whether or not one thing is in nationwide or public curiosity, on what to oppose and what not. So when the Congress asks us to face with them within the Opposition, we’d oppose the identical issues and nonetheless not stand with them. There are causes for this, there’s a background. We supported them after we had 40-41 MPs altogether, however what did they do? Earlier, when Ashok Gehlot grew to become the Chief Minister in Rajasthan, they took away six of our MLAs even after we have been giving them outdoors assist. They did the identical this time… The get together additionally did this in Himachal and some different locations… On the one hand, you do all this stuff to interrupt the BSP, damage it, and on the opposite you say that the BSP ought to stand with you always. So we’ll again them on points, however on our phrases… We’re additionally a nationwide get together, one amongst 5 nationwide political events. We’ve to determine based mostly on our considering on a matter… You spoke about Bengal… (within the Meeting election) they have been all combating one another. Who was collectively? So we’ve to combat you electorally, you poach our MPs and MLAs, identical because the BJP… we’re not double-faced. We’re clear about our stand.
MANOJ C G: If the Opposition comes collectively and the Congress will not be the one main it, will the BSP be part of it?
We’ve not as soon as however a number of occasions been a part of such unity bids, whether or not Karnataka or Bengal… However in case you suppose that we are going to include you everytime you say so, we are able to’t do this, both in Parliament or outdoors. We’ve an impartial identification of personal… We’ve a number of occasions raised our voice in opposition to the BJP… To say that we’ve supported the BJP, say on Article 370 (abrogation)… We supported it after a correct resolution, that this was in step with Dr Ambedkar’s considering. Even the BJP was shocked, it didn’t know we have been going to assist the transfer. The considering was very affordable — that whereas J&Ok has a small variety of Muslims in comparison with the remainder of the nation, there are restrictions relating to marrying individuals from outdoors, proudly owning property there… Dr Ambedkar’s considering was easy, that how can there be two units of guidelines in a rustic, he wished the entire nation to be one. He didn’t assist Article 370 even then.
HARIKISHAN SHARMA: Within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, you had aligned with the Samajwadi Get together to tackle the BJP. The BSP stays weak in Uttar Pradesh. Within the coming polls, are you contemplating any alliance?
On this election, no matter get together it could be, native or nationwide, we’re not going to align with anyone. We’ve learnt from our expertise, we had a bitter expertise… Little doubt we’ve a coalition in Punjab, with the Shiromani Akali Dal, which goes very robust. There is no such thing as a doubt that we are going to kind the federal government there. However in UP, we’re not going to have a coalition with anyone… Our get together is No. 1 in UP proper now, the BJP is No. 1 solely on paper, in propaganda, as a result of they’ve the cash, the muscle. The fact is that the BJP MLAs are scared to even go to their areas, they even name their members of the family to fulfill them outdoors. In the event that they go to, individuals gherao them, demand solutions… The best way individuals are struggling, be it because of Covid, or the farmers who’re sitting on streets, dying…
DEEPTIMAN TIWARY: Previously few years, because the BJP has gained in power, it appears all events are actually searching for solely the Hindu vote. Your get together chief too was seen with a trishul just lately. The BJP has been doing the identical for years. Why would individuals come to you for this? And secondly, who will speak for the Muslims now, elevate their points?
The BSP’s chief within the Vidhan Sabha is a Muslim, our get together president for 3 years was a Muslim. He’s taking care of the get together as a coordinator for elections within the state. We’ve at the least three Muslims as senior coordinators… Our get together doesn’t differentiate between Hindus, Muslims. It acts within the curiosity of sarvajan. Our get together at all times provides tickets to Muslims, greater than different events… The Muslims know this very effectively. It’s only underneath the BSP authorities that UP didn’t see a single riot, nor did communities combat one another, or any neighborhood stay underneath dehshat (worry). Individuals lived collectively, there was bhaichara (brotherhood). So individuals know which get together they need to go along with… Even within the Rajya Sabha, our chief is a Muslim, within the Vidhan Parishad, the chief is from the Scheduled Caste… As for you saying we’ve adopted the trishul, or began sporting malas (spiritual threads), we’ve at all times been doing it… it’s in-built. We don’t do dhong (pretence). Whether or not it’s Goddess Parvati, Devi, Durga, or Lord Shiv or Ram… once I went to go to the Ram lalla (in Ayodhya), they requested what has Ram lalla obtained to do with the BSP? I’ve been there tens of occasions… They could speak Hindu, Hindu. We consider in taking everybody alongside… Left to them, they are going to end Sanatan Dharma in UP. Of the 1,500 Sanskrit faculties within the state, solely 50% are left, as a result of they by no means paid the funds… The bhoomi pujan was executed in Ayodhya with a lot fanfare, spending Rs 200-250 crore on August 5, 2020. A yr later, there’s nothing there. I requested the sadhus there about it, they mentioned, ‘Didn’t you see, 5 bricks have been saved and prayers have been supplied to them. These have been later immersed within the Saryu’… Come Diwali, they are going to declare a document in lighting diyas. Why not spend the identical cash on the poor, give to academics?
DEEPTIMAN TIWARY: However will you make considerations of Muslims a ballot difficulty?
The considerations that they’ve are additionally our considerations. As I already mentioned, whether or not it’s Muslims, Dalits, any caste, we’re working for everyone.
AVANEESH MISHRA: On the BSP’s September 7 occasion (marking the tip of the primary part of its Brahmin outreach), numerous issues that occurred are normally seen on BJP platforms. The BJP sees it as an achievement of its politics.
You realize that two days earlier than our occasion, the BJP additionally organised a ‘Prabuddha Sammelan (focused at Brahmins)’. Earlier than that, they have been attacking us, saying one shouldn’t maintain occasions like this, it’s unsuitable… Even the Samajwadi Get together is holding such sammelans now… It’s one other matter that no one is coming for these. So who’s copying whom? They even saved the identical identify. And as to your declare that the September 7 occasion confirmed a modified BSP, rewind to June 9, 2005, after we had gone earlier than the Brahmin samaj, the higher caste samaj, and introduced the Dalits and them collectively. Mayawatiji was the chief visitor at that occasion and it attracted shut to five lakh individuals. Conch shells have been blown even then, she was introduced with a statue of Ganesha (like on September 7). Everybody is aware of what she mentioned, holding that statue, ‘Haathi nahin Ganesh hai, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh hai (Haathi or elephant is the ballot image of the BSP)’… In our Prabuddha conferences throughout 75 districts, we’ve labored to take away their (BJP’s) masks and, present their actual faces.
BHUPENDRA PANDEY: Mayawati has mentioned that the BSP won’t give tickets to any bahubali or leaders convicted in instances (within the context of Mukhtar Ansari). She has at all times been critical about points regarding ladies. Your Mau MP Atul Rai is in jail on rape prices, and just lately, each the sufferer and a witness immolated themselves earlier than the Supreme Courtroom. There was no response from the BSP, nor has the get together taken any motion in opposition to Rai.
…Possibly there are some particulars you have no idea. There’s a trial on within the courtroom, the place proof emerged in police investigation that the 2 of them had tried to blackmail Rai utilizing fraudulent means, together with the false proof that they had submitted. Police then filed an FIR in opposition to the 2, and whereas the investigation was on and so they have been summoned earlier than the courtroom, they disappeared… The courtroom then mentioned that we’ve an accused (Rai) in jail, and proof has now come that the cost in opposition to him may be fabricated, in order that they must seem… Then the 2 of them appeared earlier than the Supreme Courtroom and took that motion. It’s not like there was any stress (from Rai), he continues to be in jail.
RAVISH TIWARI: Received’t a triangular contest in UP, with the BSP not aligning with anybody, assist the BJP? Secondly, who might be your fundamental goal: Narendra Modi or Yogi Adityanath?
That is an election for UP, not the nation. On one facet is Behenji and on the opposite facet Yogiji. We’re combating this election to defeat the BJP. As for what different events are doing, we’re not involved about that. We all know we’ll uproot this authorities, like we eliminated the SP authorities in 2007. That they had the skin assist of the BJP. Everybody is aware of this effectively… as to who helped the SP kind the federal government in 2003… The Supreme Courtroom later dominated in our favour on this matter. So our combat right now is in opposition to the BJP… I don’t see any benefit to the BJP from a triangular contest. The BJP would earlier win 40-45 seats, it will once more be decreased to the identical… Regardless of the quantity, they are going to undoubtedly not make any features.