NEW DELHI: Keen to sew up an anti-BJP alliance in UP, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi paid tributes to BSP founder Kanshiram on his birth anniversary.
“Kanshiramji was a great social reformer. His struggles to link social powers to mainstream has left an indelible mark on the Indian politics. My salute to the leader on his anniversary,” Rahul tweeted.
Kanshiram was the mentor of BSP supremo Mayawati, whose support to the SP nominees in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls in UP, defeated the BJP.
The results opened up possibilities of an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2019 national polls, something the Congress managers have been dreaming of since the 2017 state assembly polls in which the BSP chief refused to join the SP-Congress alliance.
Interestingly, the Congress, which had refused to withdraw its candidates in the two parliamentary by polls, claimed it played the role of a catalyst in bringing the BSP and SP together.
“We brought the SP and BSP together,” claimed AICC in charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was instrumental behind former Mayawati aide Nasimuddin Siddiqui joining the Congress along with several leaders on February 22.
Rahul’s tributes to Kanshiram clearly meant to keep Mayawati in good humour and also convey the right message to Dalit voters across north India.
Dalits were traditional Congress voters in UP, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab but deserted the party over the past few years. Rahul wants to reverse the trend but knows the way forward is not easy.
On December 6, 2017 death anniversary of dalit icon BR Ambedkar, Rahul had tweeted. "Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise, both will wither and die. My tributes to #BabasahebAmbedkar on #MahaParinirvana Diwas.”