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Lucknow, April 4 – Almost 23 years after it took place, the infamous State Guest House incident of Uttar Pradesh has returned to haunt state politics.
The BSP has reminded SP President Akhilesh Yadav of the incident and said that he should remember June 2, 1995 when a ‘Dalit ki beti’ (Mayawati herself) was attacked at Lucknow State Guest House during the SP government tenure.
The reminder comes at a time when Akhilesh is starting a campaign to win over Dalits and unveiled a statue of late Kanshi Ram on Monday.
The State Guest House incident took place on June 2, 1995, when SP workers laid a siege to the State Guest House where Mayawati was holding a meeting with BSP MLAs.
The BSP was preparing to withdraw support from the SP-BSP coalition government.
SP leaders stormed the guest house and locked up BSP MLAs and Mayawati for several hours.
According to reports, her room was vandalised, casteist and sexual slurs were thrown about.
Eventually, BJP MLA Brahm Dutt Dwivedi stepped in and reached the State Guest House.
The then Governor Motilal Vora dismissed the Mulayam Singh government and police force was sent to rescue Mayawati and BSP MLAs.
Later, she went on to form government with BJP support.
Hostility between Mayawati and Mulayam Singh gained permanence dividing their respective vote-banks too.
Though Mayawati and Akhilesh joined hands in 2019 general elections, the alliance broke up within months.
Interestingly, in the past years, Mayawati has avoided talking about the infamous incident and her remarks now indicate that she wants to stall the move by Akhilesh to bring Dalits and OBCs together.
The BJP, meanwhile, has also stepped in by reminding Dalits of the infamous State Guest House attack and how the BJP leaders had saved the BSP chief Mayawati from the mob of SP cadres.
According to party sources, the State Guest House will be a part of the BJP narrative in the coming days.
UP BJP SC/ST wing chief Ram Chandra Kannaujia said the role of BJP leaders like Brahm Dutt Dwivedi – the then BJP MLA from Farrukhabad – who had saved Mayawati from angry SP workers, will be discussed at the workshops to be organised in all 75 UP districts between April 14 and May 5.
The race between the BJP and SP to eulogise Kanshi Ram has twin goals– to woo Dalits since they have a significant electoral role on UP’s political turf and to wean them away from the BSP which sees them as the core part of its politics.
Kannaujia said that Dalits were deprived of their rights during SP rule.
SP spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, however, said his party has been championing the cause of Dalits who have been under tremendous pressure under BJP government.
“We have been taking up the issues pertaining to socially oppressed,” Gandhi said adding that SP has formed Ambedkar Vahini to bolster its Dalit outreach.