‘I gave 32 yrs to BSP… Maya will never align with Cong, she fears her vote bank will switch… Maybe Akhilesh has the fear too’

Two-and-a-half months in the past, the Congress selected Dalit chief Brijlal Khabri to guide and revive the occasion in Uttar Pradesh, the place its vote share now hovers across the 2 per cent mark. Khabri had spent over three a long time with the BSP earlier than coming to the Congress. The occasion’s resolution to make him Uttar Pradesh chief, together with posts to another ex-BSP leaders, had induced a lot heartburn within the Congress ranks. The UPCC chief speaks concerning the Congress plan to deliver again Dalit and “minority” votes; why he believes Mayawati won’t ever align with the Congress; and the way Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and Rahul’s T-shirt have introduced the Congress into charcha (dialogue). Excerpts:

When you got the duty of the UPCC, did you are feeling the resentment among the many Congress rank-and-file?

Khabri: I heard about such issues, however I consider that if the management offers a transparent idea and course, occasion members do work in that course. We have to maneuver ahead with out worrying about who’s joyful and who’s upset.
The cause for which we had joined the BSP — i.e. to face for ‘samanta, ekta and samrasta (equality, unity and harmony)’, and towards hatred — is now being upheld by the Congress. In truth, I’ve heard folks right here say ‘Jab tak Dalit-Mussalman Congress ke sath rahe, sarkaren humari rahin (The Congress formed government in the state as long as the Dalits and Muslims were with it)’. We all know that in 1993, the Dalits went with Kanshi Ram, whereas the Muslims went with Mulayam Singh Yadav, weakening the Congress. Today, we’re getting ready a technique to deliver them each again to the Congress. It wouldn’t have been attainable if Kanshi Ram was alive, however is feasible now, since Mayawati has deviated from his path, which the Dalits can clearly see. The cause for that is that whereas the samaj (Dalit group) put of their sweat and blood to make her the CM 4 instances, she modified her slogan from ‘Bahujan hitaye, Bahujan sukhaye (For the good and the benefit of Bahujans)’ to ‘Sarvajan sukhaye, Sarvajan hitaye (For the good and the benefit of all communities)’. And she will now not deviate from the trail she has already chosen.

The Congress positions itself as the one different, however Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav attended the mega rally held by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi in Telangana, and gave solely exterior assist to Rahul’s Yatra. What is the Congress’s stand on Opposition unity in UP?

Khabri: Without the Congress, there isn’t any different. Within the Congress, it’s solely Rahul Gandhi who can save our democracy. In the current state of affairs, his yatra has introduced the Congress in focus among the many folks. During my three-day journey with Rahul Gandhi in his yatra throughout UP, I noticed that individuals, particularly the youth, have been keen to hitch him, if solely to witness how he’s traversing the nation on foot in a T-shirt, regardless of the chilling climate, and the drive he has grow to be as we speak. Aaj hum charcha mein aye hain, aur yahi charcha Congress ke liye sanjeevni hogi (Today, we’re again within the information. Tomorrow, this can be our life-giving potion within the state)’.
As far as future alliances are involved, that’s the choice of the occasion management. But from no matter little I do know — having given 32 years to the BSP — Maywati won’t ever align with the Congress. I do know she has a secret worry that eats her from inside, that if she aligns with the Congress, the vote financial institution that had as soon as shifted to the BSP would return to the Congress, leaving her excessive and dry. I do know of this worry of hers — possibly Akhilesh has it too — however the truth is, solely the Congress may give an alternate, which Rahul has to guide, and that our voters will return to us. Rahul’s yatra has modified every thing.

While the occasion’s hopes are raised by the response to the Yatra in UP, the BJP is pointing on the extended absence of the Gandhi siblings from the state. How is that this yatra completely different from previous campaigns that attracted crowds however did not convert into votes?

Khabri: This is not any peculiar yatra. Previously, we needed to deliver folks to make sure that rallies don’t fail, however as we speak, persons are clamouring to take part, regardless of being pushed about. The youth are particularly motivated. This has additionally made them see past what’s peddled about Rahul Gandhi, who’s rising as a powerful character. This is bothering all events.
As far because the absence of Rahul and Priyanka is anxious, I’d not learn a lot into it. They too belong to a household whose head (Sonia Gandhi) is unwell. So if the brother is out on the streets, the sister must keep residence, isn’t it? But they haven’t deserted UP. A mere three days of the yatra by means of simply western UP has given a whole lot of encouragement. And that is solely the primary half. When the second yatra is deliberate, relaxation assured UP will get the most important share of motion.

The letter from the Ayodhya temple priest and others supporting the Yatra got here as a shock to many…

Khabri: While the letter of assist from Ayodhya is important, it will be flawed to assume that widespread folks in villages can be motivated to hitch Rahul or the Congress for it. We have seen an inclination within the public to hitch Rahul for a trigger, which has raised hopes that the disadvantaged and backward teams will unite to make Rahul the longer term PM.

The occasion’s re-organisation in UP was earlier postponed citing native physique elections, however has not taken place since then…

Khabri: The course of is happening. We have set a goal of finishing the reorganisation course of by February. You would additionally see Sewa Dal in a brand new kind. Our Hath Se Hath Jodo marketing campaign will contact each family in two months, beginning January 26. From now on, the Congress can be within the dialogue, and UP can have a serious position to play in it.

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