All political parties in Uttar Pradesh are planning to observe Dr. B R Ambedkar’s death anniversary on December 6 as a `big” event. Even the Samajwadi Party whose politics revolves around the ideology propagated by Ram Manohar Lohia has for the first time sent circulars to district units to pay befitting homage to the late leader, the first law minister and chairman of the drafting committee which finalised the Indian Constitution.
In a directive sent by SP headquarters, district units have been asked to hold seminars and workshops. Programs will also be held in Dalit populated areas and will underline the need for social equality and harmony. Hoardings that will be put up on the occasion will have photographs of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia-Samajwadi Party’s ideologue along with Dr. BR Ambedkar.
“The idea to have pictures of both Lohia and Ambedkar in the hoardings is to emphasise the fact that both leaders’ ideology was not opposed to each other,” said Ram Govind Chaudhry, a SP leader.
Socially, Dalits and OBCs in the state are at daggers drawn. At the village level, both the groups are known to have mostly strained relations. The OBCs are deemed to be the real tormentors of Dalits. But after the breakup of the alliance between SP and BSP, Akhilesh Yadav appears to be extending an olive branch.
After Mayawati came to power, resulting in Dalit empowerment, the chasm between Dalits and the OBCs had actually widened. But in 2019 when the SP and BSP entered into an alliance, the differences were bridged to an extent. But after the BSP president Mayawati snapped links with the SP after the polls, SP started making efforts to win over Dalits - or, at least, a section of the community and reduce hostilities.
Samajwadi Party leaders hope that by observing the Ambedkar death anniversary, it would be able to woo disgruntled BSP supporters to the SP.
Aware of the move, Mayawati has also held meetings of BSP office bearers to deliberate upon ways and means of expanding the party base. During that meeting, Mayawati asked her party workers to observe the death anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar on a large scale.
The leaders were asked to come to Lucknow to pay tribute to Dr. Ambedkar at Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal. This monument was constructed during Mayawati’s regime.
“Over a lakh of people are expected to attend the function in Lucknow on December 6. Mayawati is likely to address the workers on that day,” a senior BSP leader said.