RSS upset with BJP for ignoring Brahmin leaders; worried Priyanka’s entry may pull Brahmin vote to Congress

The Congress, on the other hand, is finding a resonance among the community, especially after Priyanka Gandhi’s foray into Uttar Pradesh’s politics

A file photo of senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and BJP President Amit Shah (PTI)
A file photo of senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and BJP President Amit Shah (PTI)

Dhairya Maheshwari

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) top brass has conveyed its dissatisfaction to BJP’s central leadership over the treatment being meted out the party’s Brahmin leaders in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and several other states, RSS sources have told National Herald.

The Nagpur-based nationalist outfit is learnt to have conveyed to BJP President Amit Shah that ignoring several sitting Brahmin MPs in the northern states could have a pan-India impact on the party’s prospects in the Brahmin community. The RSS is said to have reminded the BJP that the Brahmin community had thrown their weight behind Narendra Modi’s campaign in 2014 which helped the BJP-led NDA win on several seats across the country.

“The BJP has been sidelining its Brahmin leaders, some of them very senior in stature and age. The Congress, on the other hand, is finding a resonance among the community, especially after Priyanka Gandhi’s foray into Uttar Pradesh’s politics,” Amit Shah had been told last month, as per top RSS sources.

In Bihar, the sitting BJP MP from Valmiki Nagar Satish Dubey has been sidelined for a ticket so that the BJP could accommodate its ally Janata Dal (United). The Valmiki Nagar constituency is among five seats that the BJP has sacrificed for its ally, besides Nawada, Jhanjharpur, Darbhanga and Gopalganj.

In Uttar Pradesh, the ignoring of candidature of senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi for a second term from Kanpur has also not gone down well with the RSS. Another veteran leader and sitting BJP MP from Deoria, Kalraj Mishra, is also not contesting the elections this time around, apparently due to lack of support from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

In Jharkhand, the BJP sacrificed its stronghold seat of Giridih to accommodate its ally All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU). The outgoing MP from the seat, Ravindra Kumar Pandey, is another prominent face in the Brahmin community, say sources.

Sources say that in Karnataka, the denial of Lok Sabha ticket to the wife of Anant Kumar, another Brahmin face, in favour of 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya has also not been looked upon favourably by the RSS. The decision to field Surya had been taken directly by BJP President Amit Shah, who even campaigned for the Bangalore (South) candidate this week.

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Published: 3 Apr 2019, 4:18 PM