In a virtual PR disaster, the much-hyped ‘Brahmin convention’ organised by the Samajwadi Party on the occasion of ‘Parashuram Jayanti’ turned out to be a damp squib owing to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s decision to keep off the meeting.
Although Mulayam was to address Sunday’s convention as the chief guest, he pulled out at the last minute following the unseemly tug-of-war between the rival Brahmin groups within the party.
Deepak Mishra national president of the SP’s intellectual cell, who organised a convention of the intellectuals at the party headquarters here, chief of the City Bar Association Shiv Charan Upadhyaya and senior functionary of the SP’s ‘Brahmin Sabha’ also failed to participate in the convention.
Meanwhile, the party leaders and workers who had gathered for the function were witness to the open sloganeering by the rival groups led by Manoj Pandey and Pawan Pandey emphasising their respective supremacy.
The two Pandeys have been engaged in a fierce intra-party duel to establish themselves as the Brahmin ‘poster boy’ of the party.
Interestingly, the BSP also organised a parallel ‘Brahmin convention’ at Maharajganj, which was addressed by its RS member and general secretary Satish Chand Mishra. Mishra, who is being projected as the BSP’s Brahmin face, had also addressed the party’s maiden Brahmin convention at Khalilabad last week.
And Mishra has been specifically asked by SP chief Mayawati to woo the Brahmin voters back to the party. In order to milk the Brahmin vote, the SP has set apart some 21 seats for Brahmin candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, which is the highest by any political party so far.
Speaking at the convention held under a blistering sun, Mishra reminded the audience how the Brahmins had always been targeted by the SP.
With the two main political parties now eyeing the Brahmin vote, the 2014 LS polls could witness a tectonic shift in the state’s political equations. Until now, the SP and the BSP have been none-too-friendly towards the Brahmin community, with a strong ‘us and them’ mentality deepening the schism.