BSP’s Akash Anand marks arrival as aunt Mayawati sights future

BSP leader Akash Anand (image credit X @AnandAkash_BSP)

BSP leader Akash Anand (image credit X @AnandAkash_BSP)

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Akash Anand leads BSP campaign for Lok Sabha elections in UP

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, April 10: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati will launch her electioneering from Nagpur (North) on Thursday. She is yet to address a rally in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has seven-phase election, beginning April 19.

Akash Anand launched the BSP’s poll campaign about a fortnight ago. He is now on a whirlwind tour of the state. He is not fumbling for words.

The nephew of Mayawati was born truly in ‘New India’. Former Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao in 1991, aided by Manmohan Singh, had taken the country into the new economy. Akash Anand was born in 1995.

The BSP scion shows imprints of Rao’s ‘New India’. “This free ration to 80 crore people is not free. The cost is being borne by the taxpayers,” said Anand in his Bareilly rally.

Mayawati has always read out her speeches in election rallies. The BSP leaders explain that Mayawati reads out from written speech as part of the party strategy. The copies of the speeches are printed and then distributed among the followers.

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Anand, in contrast, speaks extempore. Also, he is aggressive as he launches frontal attacks on political rivals.

“The Narendra Modi government is giving free ration because they could not provide jobs,” added Anand. The young BSP leader has a task cut out for him. He has to shed the tag of the BSP being the B team of the BJP.

The Muslim face of the Samajwadi Party (SP) for decades, Azam Khan, has reportedly thrown his weight behind the BSP. Khan is in jail. He is no longer able to dictate terms with the SP chief, Akhilesh Yadav.

The BSP is laying claims on the Muslim votes in UP. For this, Anand rains his barbs on the UP Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath. “The government’s mandate is to give shelter to the people, and not run bulldozers on their dwelling units,” Anand tells his supporters in public meetings.

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Mayawati had won a majority in the UP Assembly in 2007 by scripting a first of kind social engineering with Brahmin-Muslim-Dalit as a fulcrum. Brahmins drifted away afterwards. The BSP now is seeking Muslim-Dalit consolidation. The two vote groups together constitute 36 per cent of the total electorate in UP.

“This election is a training for our workers for future polls,” said Anand in another rally. At 29, the BSP scion is testing political waters in UP. His aunt had appointed him the national coordinator for the BSP, and with apparent gestures sent out the message that Anand is indeed her political heir.

He does not shy away from taking head-on an aggressive Dalit activist, Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan. “He (Ravan) claims to be a part of the Opposition bloc, but cannot get a ticket for himself. He is contesting from here. The people will give him a good lesson,” said Anand while addressing a public meeting in Nagina in UP.

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