Jitin Prasada, the BJP’s latest acquisition from Congress, is expected to restore the support of a core constituency said to be upset with the party in recent days. Mr Prasada, a former Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh’s Dhaurahra constituency, is one of the key Brahmin leaders from the state and the BJP is seen as hoping that his coming will help stem the tide of resentment among the community.
The Brahmins, who comprise around 10 per cent of the state’s population, have been ardent BJP supporters since the late ’80s, when Mayawati started gaining political capital with her “Tilak, Tarazu aur Talwar” slogan, directed against the three upper castes.
But reports from the state suggest that the community has been deeply upset with the selection of Yogi Adityanath — belonging to the Thakur caste — for the top post.
The resentment flared up after the Vikas Dubey encounter — even though many from the community have indicated that they had no personal sympathy with a known gangster.
Yogi Adityanath — who has apparently upset even a section of his party leaders — will lead the party in the next year’s state elections, the BJP has made clear.
But the BJP is seen as being careful to take countermeasures to placate Brahmins. The sending of former bureaucrat AK Sharma — handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — to Lucknow is one such.
Jitin Prasada – one among Rahul Gandhi’s inner circle and a two-time minister in the Manmohan Singh-led government – has had a disastrous political career since.