Will Dalit votes play king­maker in Guj, UP, Pun­jab polls in 2017?

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Which way will the Dalit vote go, in the three cru­cial states — Gu­jarat, UP and Pun­jab — headed to the polls in 2017, par­tic­u­larly in the wake of vi­o­lence against sched­uled castes by cow vig­i­lantes?

In Gu­jarat, more than a month af­ter the flog­ging of four Dal­its in Una for skin­ning a dead cow, it seems like the BJP may lose Dalit vote­share, say po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts.

It is pos­si­ble that the di­vi­sions be­tween Dalit sub-castes will dis­solve, Read more on the evolv­ing po­lit­i­cal land­scape ahead of the polls on P13

adds Gagan Sethi, co-au­thor of Lest We For­get, on the 2002 com­mu­nal vi­o­lence in the state. “Can­di­date se­lec­tion by par­ties will be cru­cial.”

In UP, Dal­its who have been hard­core sup­port­ers of the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party de­scribe them­selves as per­plexed. “If the BSP can­di­date is not in a po­si­tion to de­feat the SP nom­i­nee, we will not hes­i­tate in sup­port­ing the BJP,” say vot­ers like Ramji­van Gau­tam, 55, of Lakhim­pur Kheri.

Gau­tam’s com­ments re­flect the ef­forts the BJP has been mak­ing to woo Dal­its in UP, but af­ter the cow vig­i­lan­tism in this state, the BJP is fight­ing a per­cep­tion bat­tle here too.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.