42% Dalits, OBCs in UP BJP district panels
LUCKNOW: Taking further its outreach towards dalits and backwards, the Bharatiya Janata Party has recruited 42% of its functionaries at the district level committees from the SC and OBC communities.
This is almost six times of what their number was five years ago when only 7% functionaries were from these two sections at the the state BJP committees, which work at the grassroots levels. A top BJP leader who has been overseeing the constitution of district and regional-level committees said that the increase in the number of dalits and OBC was being done in accordance with their percentage of population. While dalits account for around 21% of UP’s population, OBC form nearly 42%.
When asked to comment, UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that the BJP goes by the principle of `Sarv Sparshi’, `SarvGrahi’ and ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. “This is why there has been an increased focus on the backward communities which form the biggest chunk in the population,” he said. In the state BJP, there are 91 district-level committees which have already been formed by the ruling party even as it gears up to take on the opposition in the run-up to 2022 assembly elections.
Outreach to Dalits, OBCs Dalits, OBCs and women have also been given bigger representation in the six regional committees which have also undergone a reshuffle exercise, party sources said. UP BJP leadership’s move to make an aggressive outreach out to OBCs and dalits comes in the backdrop of the fact that two key regional players — Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party — draw their strength from these two sections respectively. Political experts said that the BJP’s aggressive dalit and backward outreach affirms its strategy in the wake of recent electoral reverses — the lates one in Delhi. Sources said that the BJP has been eyeing dalit leaders at the local level who could potentially woo voters of their caste towards the saffron camp.