BJP banking on Yadavs and dalits in Bihar battle3 min read
New Delhi : The BJP has finalised a strategy to bank on the Yadav and Dalit votes in Bihar to derail Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s applecart of winning the upcoming Assembly elections in October on the strength of Yadavs, Muslims and Kurmis, who collectively constitute 35 per cent of population.
The party’s president, Amit Shah, has already taken two rounds of Bihar and he would be in Patna again for two days next Saturday on a mission to break the nexus of Nitish and RJD supremo Lalu Yadav by wooing the Yadav leaders with a message that Lalu never helped their community except for benefiting his own family.
If he succeeds in bringing the Yadavs, the dominant OBC caste, in the BJP fold in this election, its impact will automatically percolate in Uttar Pradesh to break the Yadav unity that brings the Samajwadi Party to power alternatively after every five years, since that will weaken the hold of Janata Parivar supremo Mulayam SinghYadav over the Yadavs.
The BJP already has a sizeable backing of the Yadavs, who constitute the highest percentage of the population in Bihar (15 per cent), followed by Muslims (14 per cent), as it had fielded 10 Yadavs in both the 2005 and 2010 Assembly elections and bagged seven and eight seats respectively in the two elections.
With the active help of former Bihar BJP chief Nand Kishore Yadav and party MP Ram Kripal Yadav, who was Lalu’s righthand man until the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Shah has prepared a list of all influential Yadav leaders who are opposed to Lalu. Some of them are in Nitish’s JD(U), some in Congress, some in former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s group and some who have fallen out with Lalu and left the RJD.
They also include Pappu Yadav, a muscleman MP who won the Madhepura Lok Sabha seat defeating sitting MP and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, and later fell out with Lalu in his attempt to take over the RJD leadership from his hands. Pappu Yadav is trying to get all Yadav leaders to rally behind him, but that does not suit the BJP, which wants to build its own band of Yadav leaders who owe allegiance to it and not to another regional chieftain like Pappu.
Therefore, the party sources said, the BJP would like to keep Pappu on its side but it won’t have a direct alliance with him. It is so because his controversial past might blunt the edge of the BJP’s attack on Nitish for bringing in ‘Jungle Raj-II’ by aligning with Lalu. Nitish always boasted that he had rescued Bihar from the so-called Jungle Raj that prevailed during the regime of Lalu and his wife, Rabri Devi.
Nitish is a Kurmi, a community that hardly has 6% votes, and hence he is wooing the Congress to be part of the anti-BJP front since that can help him get some upper caste votes that traditionally go to the BJP. Aware of the chief minister’s attempts to slice away the BJP’s traditional vote bank of Bhumihars, Brahmins, Rajputs and the business community with the help of Congress.
Courtesy: FPJ Bureau