On Monday, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) President, Mayawati, denounced the controversy created by the Samajwadi Party leader, Swami Prasad Maurya, regarding his remarks on the ‘Ramcharitmanas.’ She stated that this was an effort to gain an electoral advantage for his party and the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
On January 22, Maurya, a prominent OBC leader from Uttar Pradesh, sparked controversy when he alleged that certain verses in the Ramcharitmanas—a well-known version of the Ramayana composed by Tulsidas—“demean” a large group of people based on their caste and called for the removal of these passages from the text.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister tweeted that the BJP’s attempts to stir up new controversies for political gain are well-known. However, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is also engaging in similar behavior.
“The BJP’s political identity of creating new controversies for narrow political and electoral interests, spreading ethnic and religious hatred, creating hysteria, and religious conversions, etc. are well known. But the same political color of the SP, under the guise of the ‘Ramcharitmanas,’ is sad and unfortunate,” Mayawati said.
She questioned the lack of response from the SP leadership in regard to Maurya’s remarks, suggesting that there is a collusion between the SP and the BJP.
“Despite the controversy over the SP leader’s remarks against the ‘Ramcharitmanas’ and then the BJP’s reactions to it, the silence of the SP leadership has made it clear that there is a collusion between the two parties so that the upcoming elections can be polarised on Hindu-Muslim hysteria instead of burning public issues,” Mayawati said.
The head of the BSP expressed concern over the communalization of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in 2022. He urged political parties to refrain from using hateful rhetoric in their campaigns.
She commented that it was necessary to refrain from becoming victims of such divisive politics, as the BJP and SP had collaborated in the recent general election in Uttar Pradesh and had increased the communal atmosphere through religious fervor, leading to the BJP’s re-election.
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