Misra defends BSP’s Brahmin outreach and says celebration stands for sarv samaaj; insists BSP has been energetic and elevating points in Parliament and courts; and says that whereas the celebration is able to again the Cong on points, it would accomplish that on its phrases. The session was moderated by Chief of Bureau & Political Editor Ravish Tiwari.
RAVISH TIWARI: After a protracted 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 completely right to say that we began doing this immediately. For the previous one-and-a-half years, public conferences haven’t been doable due to the pandemic. Regardless of that, we managed to have 62 conferences in numerous districts, with no less than 200 individuals every. Whereas the Brahmins got here to my workplace, comparable conferences had been held at Behenji’s (celebration chief Mayawati) place. The second the Covid-19 instances dropped in UP, we started (our conferences). It’s not that we had been silent, the celebration 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 could be accused of launching your marketing campaign with caste-based occasions?
We known as it ‘Prabuddha Sammelan (intellectuals’ conferences)’. Little doubt, in all my conferences, 90 per cent of the attendees had 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 had been struggling urged me to come back out… They need 2007 to come back 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 may 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 traces… 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… Immediately one barely sees any improvement, we solely see pages and pages of commercials. (Mayawati) gave employment to folks 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 Occasion, everybody protested towards the Jewar airport, and at this time 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 main colleges had been opened; seven international-level universities had 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. Immediately, 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… Immediately we’re seeing Rs 300 crore being spent by folks 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 folks. 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 celebration’s caste components has labored to date. How will you consolidate your vote base within the face of such stiff competitors from the ruling celebration? Additionally, what do you make of the Bhim Military’s affect amongst Dalits in UP?
All these folks 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 bought 2.62 crore votes within the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. We bought no seats however we had been the third largest celebration even then and now too. So folks 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’s not that she has constructed the Kanshiram Smarak in Noida, however she has achieved large 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 ft… However these folks 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 celebration. 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 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 celebration’s MLAs supported the SP candidate. What is usually a greater anti-party exercise? Who has made them huge leaders? The celebration. And so the celebration is most essential. In case you 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. Over time, many such folks have come and gone within the BSP, and this time too, lots of new faces are coming.
SHUBHAJIT ROY: The months of April and Might noticed acute scarcity of beds and oxygen and even political leaders like your self couldn’t maintain the federal government accountable. Why ought to folks belief you with their vote then?
Covid has put us all to disgrace. Let me let you know my very own expertise. I’ve helped no less than 2,500 sufferers in getting remedy. For these one-and-a-half months, I actually didn’t sleep, attempting to handle oxygen and so forth. 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 had been simply doing our work. That’s how our celebration is. The extent of Covid mismanagement in UP is unimaginable. They (the federal government) began taking motion towards those that identified the mismanagement. We visited the ghats, the cremation areas, and had been shocked to see that just about 100 our bodies had been being burnt in a line. We even helped in arranging wooden for some… Our bodies had been being washed away within the Ganga… The place did all the cash allotted for Covid go? They had been blaming the media for exhibiting the our bodies. However what the media was exhibiting was much less. We had been seeing the scenes at hospitals. Many sufferers died of starvation.
VANDITA MISHRA: We have now had many agitations within the current 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 this time, dealing with sedition fees, UAPA, they’re activists who don’t belong to any celebration. For a celebration that speaks for essentially the most marginalised, isn’t this a failure?
Our folks have all the time been agitating, however in a distinct method. We don’t consider in tod-phod. Throughout the Dalit agitations, we had been current everywhere in the nation. Two of our folks died in firing in Madhya Pradesh. In UP, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, over 100 of our folks had been put in jail… With regards to instances of sedition, UAPA, we have now been preventing for them in court docket, 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. Once we type the federal government, we are going to have a look at all points. Tomorrow should you write one thing, even you’ll not be spared. It’s an undeclared Emergency.
MANOJ C G: There’s a lot discuss of Opposition unity on the nationwide stage. Sharad Pawar talks about it, Mamata Banerjee too. Sonia Gandhi held a gathering. However the BSP shouldn’t be very keen 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 all the time with the Opposition, I’ve myself attended conferences. Whether or not it was the Congress authorities earlier, even once we had been providing them outdoors help, or the BJP now, you may see that. However our celebration takes its personal choice 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 once 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 once we had been giving them outdoors help. They did the identical this time… The celebration additionally did this in Himachal and some different locations… On the one hand, you do all these items to interrupt the BSP, harm it, and on the opposite you say that the BSP ought to stand with you always. So we are going to again them on points, however on our phrases… We’re additionally a nationwide celebration, one amongst 5 nationwide political events. We have now to determine based mostly on our pondering on a matter… You spoke about Bengal… (within the Meeting election) they had been all preventing one another. Who was collectively? So we have now to struggle you electorally, you poach our MPs and MLAs, identical because the BJP… we aren’t double-faced. We’re clear about our stand.
MANOJ C G: If the Opposition comes collectively and the Congress shouldn’t be the one main it, will the BSP be a part of it?
We have now not as soon as however a number of instances been a part of such unity bids, whether or not Karnataka or Bengal… However should you assume that we are going to include you everytime you say so, we are able to’t do this, both in Parliament or outdoors. We have now an impartial id of personal… We have now a number of instances raised our voice towards the BJP… To say that we have now supported the BJP, say on Article 370 (abrogation)… We supported it after a correct choice, that this was consistent with Dr Ambedkar’s pondering. Even the BJP was shocked, it didn’t know we had been going to help the transfer. The pondering was very cheap — that whereas J&Ok has a small variety of Muslims in comparison with the remainder of the nation, there are restrictions on the subject of marrying folks from outdoors, proudly owning property there… Dr Ambedkar’s pondering was easy, that how can there be two units of guidelines in a rustic, he needed the entire nation to be one. He didn’t help Article 370 even then.
HARIKISHAN SHARMA: Within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, you had aligned with the Samajwadi Occasion 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 celebration it might be, native or nationwide, we aren’t going to align with anyone. We have now learnt from our expertise, we had a bitter expertise… Little doubt we have now a coalition in Punjab, with the Shiromani Akali Dal, which goes very robust. There isn’t any doubt that we are going to type the federal government there. However in UP, we aren’t going to have a coalition with anyone… Our celebration 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, folks gherao them, demand solutions… The best way individuals are struggling, be it resulting from Covid, or the farmers who’re sitting on streets, dying…
DEEPTIMAN TIWARY: Up to now few years, because the BJP has gained in power, it appears all events are actually searching for solely the Hindu vote. Your celebration chief too was seen with a trishul lately. The BJP has been doing the identical for years. Why would folks come to you for this? And secondly, who will discuss for the Muslims now, elevate their points?
The BSP’s chief within the Vidhan Sabha is a Muslim, our celebration president for 3 years was a Muslim. He’s taking care of the celebration as a coordinator for elections within the state. We have now no less than three Muslims as senior coordinators… Our celebration doesn’t differentiate between Hindus, Muslims. It acts within the curiosity of sarvajan. Our celebration all the time offers 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 struggle one another, or any neighborhood reside underneath dehshat (worry). Individuals lived collectively, there was bhaichara (brotherhood). So folks know which celebration 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 have now adopted the trishul, or began sporting malas (non secular threads), we have now all the time 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 bought to do with the BSP? I’ve been there tens of instances… They might discuss 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 achieved in Ayodhya with a lot fanfare, spending Rs 200-250 crore on August 5, 2020. A yr later, there may be nothing there. I requested the sadhus there about it, they mentioned, ‘Didn’t you see, 5 bricks had been stored and prayers had been provided to them. These had 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 lecturers?
DEEPTIMAN TIWARY: However will you make considerations of Muslims a ballot subject?
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 top of the primary part of its Brahmin outreach), lots of 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 had been attacking us, saying one shouldn’t maintain occasions like this, it’s improper… Even the Samajwadi Occasion is holding such sammelans now… It’s one other matter that no one is coming for these. So who’s copying whom? They even stored the identical identify. And as on your declare that the September 7 occasion confirmed a modified BSP, rewind to June 9, 2005, once 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 folks. Conch shells had been blown even then, she was offered 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 have now labored to take away their (BJP’s) masks and, present their actual faces.
BHUPENDRA PANDEY: Mayawati has mentioned that the BSP is not going to give tickets to any bahubali or leaders convicted in instances (within the context of Mukhtar Ansari). She has all the time been severe about points regarding ladies. Your Mau MP Atul Rai is in jail on rape fees, and lately, each the sufferer and a witness immolated themselves earlier than the Supreme Courtroom. There was no response from the BSP, nor has the celebration taken any motion towards Rai.
…Perhaps there are some particulars you have no idea. There’s a trial on within the court docket, 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 they’d submitted. Police then filed an FIR towards the 2, and whereas the investigation was on they usually had been summoned earlier than the court docket, they disappeared… The court docket then mentioned that we have now an accused (Rai) in jail, and proof has now come that the cost towards him could 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: Gained’t a triangular contest in UP, with the BSP not aligning with anybody, assist the BJP? Secondly, who will likely be your essential goal: Narendra Modi or Yogi Adityanath?
That is an election for UP, not the nation. On one aspect is Behenji and on the opposite aspect Yogiji. We’re preventing this election to defeat the BJP. As for what different events are doing, we aren’t involved about that. We all know we are going to uproot this authorities, like we eliminated the SP authorities in 2007. They’d the surface help of the BJP. Everybody is aware of this effectively… as to who helped the SP type the federal government in 2003… The Supreme Courtroom later dominated in our favour on this matter. So our struggle right now is towards 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 lowered to the identical… Regardless of the quantity, they are going to positively not make any positive aspects.