Quota within reservation quota may be BJP’s election agenda
Lucknow: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on Thursday in Mau in the eastern part of the state that there should be a quota within the reservation quota in government jobs has led many to believe that this will be the party’s new agenda in the coming assembly election in the state.
What adds to this belief is his declaration that if his party is voted to power this proposal will see the light of the day. He has not stopped there. “ This will done as it was done during my tenure as chief minister of the state”, added Rajnath. This may be unpleasing to some “upper” castes and backward castes.
Although he has denied that he will be the chief ministerial face of the party in the coming polls, it appears that he will play a major role in these elections. Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah he will be visiting most of the areas and addressing voters.
The aim seem to win over the most backward among backward castes and others who do not come under the creamy layer category. He may be also eyeing the most poor among the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has made a similar experiment in his home state—and successfully.
The party,however, is unlikely to make a complete departure from the past which can take away traditional upper caste voters, particularly Brahmins. The reason is not far to seek. The caste accounts for eight per cent of the population in 62 districts in the state.
As many as 31 out of these have 12 per cent Brahmin. Western part of the state has also a sizable Brahmin population. In Mathura district and some parts of eastern U P the percentage is as high as 16. It is hardly surprising in this light that the state has had five Brahmin chief ministers.
The party may try some other experiments in the state too as it is crucial for the party, especially after its defeat in the neighbouring state of Bihar.