- Saroj Singh
- PRESS24 NEWS correspondent
After a long time, all the MPs got together for the proceedings of the monsoon session of Parliament.
But on the very first day there was a ruckus in both the houses. The ruling party was aware of this before the beginning of the House. Prime Minister Modi said in the beginning, “Opposition should ask questions fiercely but give the government a chance to answer.”
But when the proceedings of the House began, the scene was different. On the first day of the session, Prime Minister Modi wanted to introduce the new ministers of his Council of Ministers in the Lok Sabha, but during this time the members of the opposition started creating ruckus.
After this, the Prime Minister hit back at the opposition, alleging that he does not want to see some sections of the people becoming ministers.
Modi said, “I was thinking that today there will be an atmosphere of enthusiasm in the House because a large number of our women MPs, Dalit brothers, MPs from tribal, farmer families got a chance in the Council of Ministers. It would have been a pleasure to introduce them.”
“But maybe the sons of Dalits, women, OBCs, farmers of the country should become ministers, some people do not like this thing. That is why they do not even allow them to be introduced.”
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi wrote on Twitter, “The Prime Minister himself wants to congratulate himself for the cabinet reshuffle, forgetting how many people died in the second wave of Corona, the public is crying over the inflation. And the farmers are protesting on the new agriculture law.”
When the Prime Minister was saying this in the Lok Sabha, then the opposition MPs were creating a ruckus. His demonstration was on the issue of inflation and farmers. In such a situation, Prime Minister Modi could not introduce his new ministers.
A similar atmosphere prevailed in the Rajya Sabha.
But this was the second consecutive time in recent times that the government was playing the Dalit-OBC card in response to its attacks. Earlier, even at the time of cabinet expansion, the government had associated the new face of the government with OBCs and Dalits after the reshuffle of ministers.
BJP’s Dalit OBC Card
Political experts are assuming that till the year 2024, BJP will continue to use this card. Actually, BJP’s electoral math is behind this.
“India has 45 to 48 per cent OBC population,” says Sanjay Kumar, professor and political analyst at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).
“BJP is following a well-planned plan to expand its vote base. If you look closely at that plan, it will be known that in the Atal-Advani era (1999-2004), BJP used to have a total vote share of 28%. But in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, this vote base increased to 31 percent and in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections it has increased to 37 percent.
According to Sanjay Kumar, the politics of OBC-Dalit card is hidden in these figures of the expansion of BJP during the tenure of Prime Minister Modi.
During Vajpayee’s tenure, the BJP was considered a party of ‘upper caste’ (ie Brahmins, Rajputs, Banias) and ‘upper classes’ (those living in urban areas).
Between 2014 and 2019, when the BJP was able to achieve a vote percentage above 30 percent, there was a participation of ‘upper caste’ and ‘upper class’, as well as a large number of OBCs and Dalits also came along with the BJP.
BJP understood this plan in 2014 itself. That is why since then till now they are working on this mission.
Sanjay Kumar explains the mission expansion of BJP through statistics.
Before 2009, the BJP had 10-12 per cent Dalit votes.
In 2014, the Dalit vote with the BJP became 24 percent. That is, double.
In the year 2019, 34 percent Dalit votes came in BJP’s account. That is, more than 10% compared to 2014.
In the same way, if we talk about OBC votes.
Before 2009, the BJP had 20-22% OBC voters.
In 2014, the OBC vote became 33-34 percent.
In the year 2019, this further increased to 44 percent.
BJP saw this thing carefully that which category of their vote is increasing, they started trying to connect the same with them.
Sanjay Kumar says that instead of considering all OBCs as its target, BJP wants to do only ‘Non Dominant OBC’ in its favor.
Explaining ‘Non-dominant OBC/Dalit’, Sanjay Kumar says, “Just like BJP in Uttar Pradesh doesn’t target Yadavs because they know they are traditional voters of a party. Similarly, it doesn’t target Jatavs among Dalits, Because she is already considered to be Mayavati’s vote bank.”
Professor Sanjay says, “BJP knows two things –
First – if the election is to be won by majority then more than 35% vote share is required.
Second – it is necessary to keep Dalits and OBCs with them to get 35% votes.“
BJP is worried about Uttar Pradesh
This was the talk of BJP’s ‘Mission Expansion’ across India. But 2024 is still far away, before that BJP also has to prepare for Mission Uttar Pradesh for 2022.
Senior journalist Aditi Phadnis says, “Just like Arjun was seeing the eye of a fish in Mahabharata, the BJP is currently only seeing the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.”
“BJP is not very happy with the results of panchayat elections. From Gorakhpur to Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, they are now worried. RSS-BJP are also worried about poor management in the corona epidemic. The displeasure of the Brahmins of the state. It is not hidden from anyone. Now Mayawati has also fully engaged in trying to have them with her.
Aditi says that for this reason, most ministers were made from UP in the cabinet expansion.
The ministers included in the cabinet this time are Pankaj Chaudhary, MP from Maharajganj and who won the Lok Sabha elections six times, Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal, MP from Agra, SP Baghel, five-time MP Bhanu Pratap Verma, Mohanlalganj MP Kaushal Kishore, Rajya Sabha MP BL Verma and Lakhimpur Kheri MP Ajay Kumar Mishra.
Barring one Brahmin, the other six belong to OBC and Dalit community and are non-Yadav and non-Jatav.
Gair Yadav and non Jatav mean those OBCs and Dalits who are not voters of any particular party. Which Sanjay Kumar was talking about.
Pankaj Chaudhary and Anupriya Patel are from OBC Kurmi community. Kaushal Kishore is from Pasi society. After Jatav, there is a big vote bank of Pasi community in Uttar Pradesh. BL Verma comes from the Lodh (Backward Caste) society and is believed to have a good influence on the Lodh community. Former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh is also from Lodh Samaj. Bhanu Pratap Verma is a Dalit.
Aditi says, “Prime Minister Modi who is accusing the opposition today that the opposition does not want to see OBCs and Dalits becoming ministers, the same allegation was being leveled against him before the cabinet expansion.
Anupriya Patel was included this time, while her party’s performance in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections was very good. Why was he not given a ministerial post then? Now he was included because he wants OBC votes.
Talking about Uttar Pradesh, OBC vote is 45 percent, in which Yadav is around 10 percent. That is, the remaining 35 percent are OBCs on the target of BJP.
Similarly, talking about Dalits, there are 19-20 percent Dalit votes, out of which 6-7 percent are Jatav votes, who are traditionally considered to be Mayawati’s voters. That is, the BJP is eyeing the remaining 12-13 percent votes here.
Punjab and Gujarat elections
Aditi says that the BJP of Punjab and Gujarat is not worried much at the moment. The BJP has nothing much to lose in Punjab, but there are 30 percent of the total population in the Dalit community.
BJP is not worried about Gujarat because the opposition is more scattered and the equation there can be handled by the Modi-Shah duo. Some effort has also been seen in this time’s cabinet expansion.
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