Why the RSS and YSRCP are against TDP’s assembly ticket to a Dalit Youtuber (The News Minute)

The TDP’s decision to allocate an Assembly election ticket to Rajesh Saripalle, popularly known as Rajesh Mahasena P Gannavaram, has irked many. The YSRCP, JSP, TDP, and the BJP have been doing everything in their power to have Rajesh withdraw his candidature.

Rajesh MahasenaFacebook/Durga Prince Raj Bandi

By E Bhavani Sukanya Shaji

When the Telugu Desam Party–Jana Sena alliance in Andhra Pradesh released its first list of candidates on February 24, it included popular anti-caste YouTuber Rajesh Saripalle, commonly known as Mahasena Rajesh, as a TDP candidate. But a week later, on March 1, Rajesh declared that he was willing to refrain from contesting. His candidacy had triggered opposition not just from the YSRCP,  but also from a potential TDP ally in the state – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — as well as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and various Brahmin caste associations.

Objections were raised over Rajesh’s earlier takes on politics, including caste discrimination, with the RSS mouthpiece Organiser terming him as “anti-Hindu”. Protests and instances of vandalism also erupted in the BR Ambedkar Konaseema district, Visakhapatnam, and other parts of the state.

Rajesh, who belongs to the Mala SC community, runs a YouTube channel called Mahasena Media, with the stated aim of preserving Dalit rights. On the channel which currently has over 7.17 lakh subscribers, he regularly posts videos with political commentary, frequently criticising various political parties, especially in relation to caste and caste atrocities. In recent years, he has mainly gone after the ruling YSRCP, often speaking of its leaders including Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in an offensive tone.

This story was originally published in thenewsminute.com. Read the full story here.

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