A Test for BJP’s Plan to Woo MBCs Party eye­ing non-Ya­dav OBC and non-Jatav Dal­its vot­ers to counter ri­vals SP & BSP

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Sanjay.Singh2@ times­group.com

New Delhi: BJP’s elec­toral strat­egy to form a rain­bow coali­tion of small groups within back­ward com­mu­nity will be first put to the test in West UP’s 15 districts, which are cov­ered un­der the first phase of the UP assem­bly polls on Fe­bru­ary 11. Th­ese 15 districts have con­sid­er­able pop­u­la­tion of the small groups within backwards, who are also re­ferred to as Most Back­ward Castes . BJP has been eye­ing the non-Ya­dav OBC vot­ers as well as non-Jatav Dal­its vot­ers in its at­tempt to counter it’s both ri­vals- SP and BSP. Ya­davs and Jatavs are con­sid­ered to be base votes of SP and BSP re­spec­tively. If BJP’s strat­egy for mo­bil­is­ing MBC vot­ers in its favour works, it may help the party com­pen­sate for its pos­si­ble loss of Jat vot­ers and thus stay in race with SP-Congress al­liance and BSP in this re­gion. Un­like the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, there are signs of dis­en­chant­ment among the Jat vot­ers with the BJP. Re­ports said BJP has been burn­ing the mid­night oil to cor­rect its sup­port base among the Jats. Al­though the MBC vot­ers, who con­sti­tute a large num­ber in the OBC block con­tinue to lack their own po­lit­i­cal pa­tron­age, they mat- ter for all the three ma­jor po­lit­i­cal play­ers- BJP, SP-Congress al­liance, and BSP. Both the camps- SP and BSP tasted suc­cess by bag­ging the MBC votes in the past assem­bly polls. BJP has made a fresh at­tempt to woo the MBC vot­ers in this elec­tion by bring­ing the de­fec­tors from BSP in its camps. Swami Prasad Mau­rya, Dara Singh Chauhan and Dr Dharam Singh Saini, who left BSP and joined the BJP, are good ex­am­ples of BJP’s MBC faces. SP Singh Baghel, who was in BSP and SP in the past, is now with the BJP.

Early in­di­ca­tions sug­gest will­ing­ness among most of the MBCs to go with BJP in dif­fer­ent con­stituen­cies of the 15 district, which would go to poll on Fe­bru­ary 11. What man­i­fests BJP’s spe­cial fo­cus on MBC votes is good representation given to this group in its can­di­dates’ list. While BJP se­lected about180 can­di­dates from the up­per castes, it has fielded 120-plus faces from such back­ward castes. Kurmi, Mau­rya-Kush­waha-Shakya-Saini, Lodh and Nishad-BindKashyap castes have got their good share in the BJP list.

If BJP’s strat­egy works it may help the party com­pen­sate for its pos­si­ble loss of Jat vot­ers

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