Saharanpur visit by Modi may be an attempt to win over Dalits
Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not chosen Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh to mark the completion of his two years in office for nothing. It is seen in the political circles as an attempt to woo Dalits who have been playing a hide and seek with his party (BJP) so far.
Overwhelming supporting the BJP in the last Lok Sabha elections, the group has been backing the BSP in the past. It was the main reason behind the latter drawing a blank in the last parliamentary poll.
The BSP may call it an one-off decision by the Dalits but the BJP does not think so. In any case it will like them to remain with the party during the forthcoming assembly elections in the state which is crucial for the BJP for more reasons than one . The victory of the party against the well-intrenched SP here may open the floodgates for success in other parts. At least it will send a warning signal to the both the SP and the BSP ,the BJP’s main rival in the state.
The other factor which might have influenced the party is that this group votes en block and if it happens in the next poll nothing can be more pleasing to it. Dalits account for about 22 per cent of the population and , therefore, a sizable support from the community can make or mar the prospect of any party.
Looking back, it appears that excepting the urban constituencies the BJP has done poorly in the region which plays a vital role in deciding the political fortune of a party in the state. The PM’s visit can be also understood in this light.
Mayawati knows it fully well. It could be a reason why she chose to contest from Harora which saw him reach the coveted chief minister’s post. That is history. Even in the last assembly elections the party got a sizable number of seats from the area. Drawing a good number of voters of this community away from Mayawati can help it grab many seats and pose a bigger threat to the SP which is the BJP’s main rival at present – a fact accepted by the party president Amit Shah himself.
Modi may announce some new schemes in Saharnpur besides highlighting his two-year achievements. The Centre has sanctioned Projects worth Rs one lakh crore for the state and favoured setting up of an international airport in Jewar, besides some other schemes.
In a nutshell the meeting at Sahanpur is being seen as a beginning of an election campaign.