PATNA: The state BJP would not bank just on former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi to garner the support of Mahadalits to which he belongs to in the run-up to the assembly elections. Instead, BJP has built its own well-indoctrinated organizational structure and network to woo them.
Manjhi, who leads Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S), was replaced by Nitish Kumar as CM in February this year after first giving him the post just after the JD(U)’s drubbing in parliamentary elections. Manjhi was accused of being in cahoots with the state BJP. By now, he has held quite a few meetings with PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on the fundamentals of his support to their party in the forthcoming assembly election.
It appears that the BJP, in the last five months, built up its Scheduled Caste Morcha (SCM). The crucial pre-election meet of its trained office-bearers, presided by its state chief Chhotelal Rajbanshi, was held at the Polo Road residence of former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday. Leader of opposition in the state assembly, Nand Kishore Yadav, and the party’s state chief Mangal Pandey, along with Sushil Modi, addressed them, explaining their role during the assembly polls.
Pandey thanked profusely a voluntary group for training the SCM office-bearers. Calling the forthcoming assembly elections as a ‘yudh’ (war), he asked them to select 10 commanders in every assembly constituency with the role to mobilize people of Mahadalit community in every village and ‘tola’ (part of the village). The state has over 40,000 villages. “In a war, the commanders have only one mind and purpose. It is victory,” Pandey said.
SuMo told them that had it not been the BJP pressure on CM Nitish Kumar-led NDA government, the 16% reservation would not have been granted to the Mahadalit groups on the single posts of panchayat ‘mukhiya’ and ‘sarpanch’ on the basis of their population in Bihar. Accordingly, there are 1,300 Mahadalit ‘mukhiyas’ and ‘sarpanchas,’ Modi said. The state has over 8,000 panchayats.
Yadav said the BJP has been giving utmost honour and place to the people of Mahadalit social groups, which is why there are 68 Lok Sabha members from these groups.