Opposition parties care for OBCs, Dalits only when out of power: Dinesh

In recent days, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress have made a strong pitch for a caste census.

Lucknow: Senior BJP leader Dinesh Sharma hit out at the opposition parties in UP on Thursday for demanding a caste-based census, asserting that they care for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Dalits only when they are removed from power.

Targeting the Samajwadi Party, Sharma said their leaders should be asked why they did not start a caste-based census when they were in power in Uttar Pradesh for “so many years”. This, he added, would clearly show how much they care for the backward community.

In recent days, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress have made a strong pitch for a caste census.

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“When Raju Pal was killed, Umesh Pal was killed, Sandeep Nishad, the gunner of Umesh Pal, who was also from a backward community, was killed, Samajwadi Party and Congress remained silent and did not utter a word in favour of them. Instead they shed their tears in favour of the mafia,” the former deputy chief minister alleged.

Raju Pal, an MLA, was killed allegedly by gangster-politician Atiq Ahmad and his gang members in 2005. Umesh Pal a key witness in the murder case was gunned down with his two security personnel in February this year by Ahmad’s gang in Prayagraj.

Ahmad and his brother Ashraf, who were in police custody in connection with the Umesh Pal murder case, were shot dead by three assailants outside a hospital on April 15. The three assailants were arrested.

Sharma also said that the BJP promotes mayors who perform better.

Citing his own example, he said he remained the mayor of Lucknow for 11 years and then he was made the vice president of the BJP and he was also made the deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Similarly, he added, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too served as Nagpur mayor before being promoted. Fadnavis also served as the chief minister of Maharashtra from 2014 to 2019.

Baby Rani Maurya, who was the mayor of Agra, was made the Uttarakhand governor from August 2018 to September 2021, Sharma said.

“If mayors do good work they eventually get promoted in the party and government,” he said.

Polling for the urban local bodies in the state is slated in two phases – on May 4 and May 11.

The counting of votes will be held on May 13.

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