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Weeks before birthday, Mayawati asks BSP workers to help needy

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has started preparing to celebrate party chief Mayawati’s 65th birthday on January 15 next year as Jankalyankari Diwas in a simple manner in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, a party leader said.

The BSP, which used to celebrate the occasion in a grand manner when the party was in power in Uttar Pradesh, began the practice of marking Jankalyankari Diwas after being voted out of office in the 2012 assembly elections.

This time, Mayawati has directed party leaders and workers to assist migrants, farmers, labourers and the poor people who are facing problems due to the economic slowdown. She has also asked the party leaders to follow the Covid-19 protocol announced by the government during the birthday celebration. There would be no gathering or assembly of workers, the party said.

Mayawati is camping in Delhi, where she is holding regular review meetings to gear up the party cadre for the 2022 assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. She has directed the party officers to expedite the strengthening of the party organisation at the booth level. To regain lost ground, the BSP has plans to win back the support of Brahmins, backward classes and Muslims, the party leader said.

The BSP did not win any seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. It bagged 19 seats in the 2017 UP assembly polls and 10 in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, when it had an alliance with the Samajwadi Party but parted ways soon after the results were declared.

The party chief’s birthday programme would be finalised soon, the BSP leader said, adding that earlier the main function used to be organised at the party’s state unit office in Lucknow. Later in the evening, she used to leave for Delhi to celebrate her birthday with the office bearers of the party’s national unit.

Under the Jankalyankari Diwas programme, the BSP leaders will assist the needy, poor and the handicapped.

“We will visit hamlets or hospitals to distribute sweets and fruits,” said a BSP leader.

About two years after Mayawati became UP chief minister for the fourth time in 2007, there was a grand celebration across the state on January 15, 2009. The display of opulence was quite palpable, the city was draped in blue and a massive stage was set up on the ground near the chief minister’s residence. The BSP supporters were transported from all the districts and neighbouring states to participate in the programme.

Over the years, party MPs, MLAs and workers have been donating funds to the party for the occasion. The fund-raising drive is termed ‘arthik sahyog’ (economic cooperation) by the BSP.

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