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Suspended BSP MLA Aslam Raini has termed the Bahujan Samaj Party as a “sinking ship”, and claimed that the party’s love for Brahmins is only an “election stunt”.

“People from backward class, upper castes and minorities are no longer with the BSP. There was a time when prominent Brahmin leaders like Brajesh Pathak were there in the party. Today, the Brahmins will not board the sinking ship of the BSP in the name of Satish Chandra Misra,” he told reporters here on Sunday night.

The comments by the suspended BSP MLA came hours after BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday announced that a campaign will be launched from Ayodhya to reach out to Brahmin voters and urged the community not to be “misled” by the BJP. BSP general secretary Misra will offer prayers at the makeshift shrine of Ram Lalla in the holy city on July 23 before starting a series of ”Brahmin sammelans”, in a politically loaded move.

Raini claimed that he had spoken to Brahmins in Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Gorakhpur, Balrampur, Bahraich, Gonda and Shravasti and has been told that the Brahmin community will vote for the Samajwadi Party. “Apart from this, the members of the minority community will also vote for the SP, and Akhilesh Yadav will become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

In October 2020, seven BSP MLAs including Raini were suspended by party president Mayawati. They had opposed the nomination of party”s official candidate Ramji Gautam for the elections to the Rajya Sabha. On June 15, some of the suspended BSP MLAs including Raini had met Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. Speaking with reporters on Sunday, Mayawati had claimed the people from the “upper castes” were repenting voting for the BJP in the last state elections and said their interests will be safeguarded if her party comes to power.

“A campaign, led by BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra, will be started from Ayodhya on July 23 to awaken the Brahmin community once again. The Brahmins will be assured that their interests will remain safe under the BSP regime,” the former chief minister and Dalit leader said. Mayawati’s Brahmin outreach led by Misra was considered as one of the key factors for her win in the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly election.

Asked about the campaign, Misra on Sunday told PTI, “First of all, we will have ”darshan” of Lord Hanuman at the Hanumangarhi in Ayodhya. It will be followed by ”darshan” of Ram Lalla, and then the campaign will kick-off. A meeting will also be held on that day, and its venue will be declared in a couple of days, he had said.

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