Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday unveiled a striking statue of late Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder and Dalit leader Kanshi Ram in Rae Bareli. This event is a clear outreach towards the Dalit community, paying tribute to Kanshi Ram and Ram Manohar Lohia.
At the event, which was held at Manyavar Kanshi Ram Mahavidyalaya and attended by SP general secretary and prominent non-Yadav OBC face Swami Prasad Maurya, Mr. Yadav expressed his commitment to uniting the Bahujan society and how the path shown by socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia is similar to that imagined by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram for the upliftment of oppressed sections. He also recalled and paid tribute to the friendship between Kanshi Ram and SP founder Mulayam Singh, saying they “together pioneered a new kind of politics in the country”.
Mr. Yadav had a special focus on the importance of conducting a caste-based census, stressing that “development of each and every section of society is possible only when there is a caste census”. He also lambasted the BJP for its anti-Dalit and anti-OBC stance and warned about those who are indirectly helping the saffron party.
In a bid to make inroads among Dalit and Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) voters, the SP has gone a step further to induct leaders such as Mr. Maurya and provide 35 percent representation for non-Yadav OBCs or EBC social groups in its national executive, which includes six members from the Dalit community.
By displaying their support for Kanshi Ram and general commitment to the Dalit community, the Samajwadi Party has left a lasting impression in Rae Bareli, home of the former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. As the SP continues its criticism of the grand old party while hinting at setting up a candidate in Amethi, it goes to show the evolving electoral realities in the State and the movement of the electorate in the upcoming polls.