LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati on Wednesday accused the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh of misusing the Covid restrictions to scuttle its Brahmin outreach meetings, claiming that the ruling party is rattled by their success.
Last month, the BSP, which counts on Dalit votes, began a series of "prabuddha varg sammelans" (intellectuals' meetings) to woo Brahmins ahead of next year assembly polls.
The Samajwadi Party is also appears set to launch a similar exercise.
After a "prabuddha sammelan" in Bareilly Wednesday, BSP national general secretary Satish Misra claimed both Dalits and Brahmins are living in fear in the state.
Meeting reporters, he also said the party will not enter into any alliance for the assembly elections.
In Lucknow, Mayawati charged that the BJP is misusing official machinery to sabotage the BSP meets.
She claimed her party has been organising the meetings after obtaining necessary clearances but the authorities are now trying to impose new conditions.
She said at some places the district administrations have been imposing restrictions on the number of participants.
"Not only the Brahmins but everyone can see that for BJP leaders there is no ban relating to the coronavirus protocol at any programme and they have the freedom to openly flout all such rules," Mayawati charged.
"But in the case of opposition parties, they have different rules and this has become clearly evident during the BSP sammelans at some places," she told reporters in Lucknow.
She said cases were registered against some members of the Brahmin community after a meeting on Tuesday, and called it "casteist hatred" and an attempt to "intimidate" the participants.
But this has only led to more passion for the BSP and anger towards the BJP, she said.
She claimed alarm bells are ringing in the BJP after the "success" of these meets.
"It is clear since they have now started the open misuse of official machinery to check these programmes."
"She said such tactics would not deter her party and the state-wide programme of "prabuddha sammelans" would be taken to the village and the "household-level".
Mayawati said such tactics have made the Brahmin community believe that as with the Dalits, the backward castes and the minorities, the BJP does not want them to live with self-respect.
In Bareilly, Satish Misra, who is the BSP's Brahmin face, said if all "three crore" Brahmins in the state are united, every political party will be on their side.
He told reporters that the BSP will contest the elections on its own and its only alliance will be "with the people."
On the issue of a "third front", he said if the entire society is linked with the BSP, the party itself will emerge automatically as that front.
Misra targeted the BJP over the new farm laws enacted at the Centre and on the law and order situation in the state.
He said incidents of murder and rape have become so common that they don't even figure on the front page of newspapers.