The ‘Brahmin vote bank’ remains the top agenda of all major political parties including Bharatiya Janata Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party, despite not giving Uttar Pradesh any Brahmin chief minister so far. They all are holding ‘prabuddh sammelans’ to woo the community or are planning it.
All this time Congress, which has given half-a-dozen Brahmin chief ministers to UP, has gradually distanced itself from this section, forcing even veteran Brahmin leaders to quit the party one by one. Surprisingly, the leaders of this community and their kin, despite enjoying or blessed with prime positions from time to time, are now leaving the grand old party as they see a very bleak future in it.
Sources in the Congress said that the leaders quitting the party blame the step-motherly treatment they were getting in the party for their leaving the party. Some of them were more vocal to blame the party high command (read Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka) as the reason for their exit from the party. The most common grievance of the leaders at the time of leaving Congress has been that they did not get proper “hearing” from the high command.
Former Congress chief minister Sripati Mishra’s son Rakesh Mishra quit the party and joined BJP in 2016 before the last assembly elections claiming that he was not getting proper treatment in the party. Even party state president Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who was later removed from the post and replaced by Raj Babbar, also quit Congress to join BJP, making similar allegations against the high command.
Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s father late Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, was also a Brahmin chief minister given to UP by Congress. Not only Rita Bahuguna Joshi, her brother Vijay Bahuguna was also given prominence in Congress he was made the chief minister of Uttarakhand but still the family later blamed the party of not giving them their ‘due’ and quit.
Another veteran Brahmin leader of the Congress, Narain Dutt Tewari, was made chief minister of UP thrice during Congress regime but his biological son Rohit too found no desired response from the high command and shifted to Samajwadi Party. Besides these chief ministers’ kin, recently another veteran Congress leader Jitendra Prasada’s son Jitin Prasada, who remained Congress MP for two times and was also made a minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, resigned to join the BJP. Interestingly he organised several meetings in which he accused the government of harassment of the Brahmin community but he still joined the saffron brigade. It may be mentioned that Jitendra Prasada remained UPCC president.
The latest in the club of Brahmin leaders of Congress who quit the grand old party is the great grandson of the top most Brahmin leader of Congress from UP, Pandit Kamalapati Tripathi. Lalitesh Pati Tripathi remained MLA from Congress, his father Rajeshpati Tripathi was a MLC and his grandfather Lokpati Tripathi also remained minister in the Congress governments. Though at the time of resigning from the party, Lalitesh cited that Congress was now not the same party any more but sources said that he quit after being annoyed at not getting one-to-one hearing from Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Recently Lalitesh wanted to air his grievances before Vadra but she asked him to discuss it with her close lieutenant and this irked Lalitesh and he finally quit the party.
The manner in which the party’s Brahmin leaders are either quitting or are being unceremoniously removed like former ministers Ram Krishna Dwivedi, Satyadeo Tripathi and others, one thing seems to be clear that the Brahmins are no more the top priority of the Congress high command which is now looking towards other castes in the hope that the party would finally find a new vote bank and see its revival in the biggest state of the country having maximum seats.