June 2016- “Keshav Prasad Maurya is far more junior to me and he has just started his career, I wish him luck but he still has to do a lot in politics, and as far as the Mauryas are concerned, I am much closer to them” (Swami Prasad Maurya over Keshav’s selection as BJP Chief).
August 10, 2016- “There is no question of who is a bigger Maurya or who is smaller, all of us have to ensure that BJP wins and forms the government.”
(Swami Prasad Maurya after joining BJP)
Politics has come full circle for Swami Prasad Maurya who started with a bang in the month of June and ended in a whimper in the month of august. Definitely Swami is now the most high profile name in the list of BSP leaders (OBC) who have crossed over to the BJP in past few months.
Initially swami was even against being compared with Keshav Prasad Maurya but now for all practical purposes he will be working under him. With his joining the question which in everybody’s mind is “will 2017 see a Maurya vs Maurya battle within the BJP”.
While senior leaders in BJP are busy owning the calculation to the tee but the bigger challenge which is emerging fro them is to make a balance of power between the new inductees and the old guard. What is emerging is that in their eagerness to forge new alliances the BJP might very well end up disturbing the old one.
The BJP is all out to deny it, state spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak says ‘Swami ji is now in BJP and he had shown respect to our ideology, but as far as the organisational protocol is concerned, in our set up it is the state head who is the senior most leader in the state.”
Even both the Mauryas are denying it. Swami Prasad Maurya after joining the party told us – “You should think about the larger picture now, I had vowed to finish the politics of behenji and you will be able to witness the first step in my rally on 22nd September in Lucknow this year.”
While Keshav Prasad Maurya played it safe by saying ““see he is now a part of BJP and he is a senior leader, there is no question of who is junior or senior and all of us are working for the benefit of party”.
But is this new found bonhomie real?
Some of the BJP leaders believe that although Swami had been called to give an answer to Mayawati, but his arrival had given a shock to existing OBC leaders.
Most of the BJP leaders, of the record laugh at it. They point out that Swami Prasad Maurya was supposed to come to Lucknow today but his itinerary was not shared with the press. This is just the beginning. Another leader said, “Once the campaigning picks up steam then the real picture will emerge. There is no denying that Swami Prasad Maurya is a bigger politician with a better grip over his caste than Keshav. This will defiantly lead to a lot of heartburn”.
Dr Rajesh Mishra, ex MP and UPCC Vice President told us that” since it is their internal matter and I cannot comment much over this, but definitely Swami Prasad Maurya ji is a bigger leader of the Maurya community and he had been in the assembly for a good number of times and he had served as leader of opposition. Someone as senior as him will now report to a person who is a newly elected MP and has a lesser political experience.”
“As far as the OBC votes are concerned BJP might get a mere percentage of gain by Swamiji’s arrival but as you know that in Uttar Pradesh there is one OBC caste who had ruled the others and we feel that they had been fooled. BJP also had done the same in past with the OBC’s. This time all those OBC’s who had been deprived and disturbed by rest of them will vouch for congress.”
The Koeris in UP-
Both these Mauryas will be driving for the Koeri votes in Uttar Pradesh. They comprise strength of 9 percent and are particularly in large numbers in the western and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh. They are in good numbers in Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Chandauli, Gorakhpur and Gazipur. They are also in good numbers in the western districts. They are a sizeable strength among the OBC votes and BJP is on way to add them to their upper caste votes which will turn into a lethal caste combination.
However what is worrying for the BJP is the grand standing done by Swami Prasad Maurya against Hindu gods and goddesses while being in BSP. In the past Swami had said that there is no use to worship Hindu gods and goddesses’ ganesh and gauri in marriage functions, and how it is a manuwadi practice. The statements were so ascribed that even Mayawati had to denounce it. At that time BJP had used these very statements to slam the BSP. It will be interesting to see what BJP does now as earlier they had even got a case registered against Swami Prasad Maurya.
Though it took BJP few weeks to cut swami to size before making him join the party, they will be relying heavily on Swami Prasad Maurya’s avowed promise to make behenji bite the dust .
BY Utpal Pathak From wefornews