Refusing to backtrack on the controversy over Ramcharitmanas verses, Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav has made it clear that he would use it as a political weapon against Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in coming elections of 2024 along with caste census.
Hoping to widen his backward support base with both these issues, Akhilesh has said that it is a 5000 year old clash about the dignity of the oppressed class. "Jo Galat Hai Wo Galat Hai aur Ye 5000 Saal Purani Ladai Hai (What is wrong would remain wrong and it is a 5000 year old fight)," said the SP Chief. He said that if Shudra is written in such a manner, he would never accept it. On Saturday after the heated exchange in the UP assembly, Akhilesh said that there is no one against Ramcharitmanas but there are objections to certain things.
Meanwhile the BJP, which was initially avoiding any debate on this controversial issue, has now opened its cards. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, during debate in the assembly, supported the controversial verses of Ramcharitmanas and explained its meaning. He said that Shudra means the working class and even Dr Ambedkar has said this. He accused Samajwadi Party of hurting the sentiments of Hindu community by opposing the verses of Ramcharitmanas.
However, the SP Chief who had earlier cautioned his party spokespersons to avoid any debate on religious issues has now himself raised this topic.
It may be mentioned SP leader Maurya made derogatory remarks on Ramcharit Manas terming it an orthodox literature which contains demeaning verses against Dalit and backwards. Irked over this remark, Hindu outfits had demanded action against Maurya and an FIR was lodged against him. However, undeterred by the controversy, SP Chief had appointed Maurya as the National General Secretary of the party. Going a step further, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav had stated that BJP treats him as Shudra.
According to SP leaders, the party has decided to continue with the opposition of verses of Ramcharitmanas. At the same time it would raise the issue of caste based census in UP. The party has started a state wide campaign on caste census and would launch agitation demanding for it very soon, said SP leaders.
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