After Rajputs Lalu eyeing on other upper castes
Patna,(BiharTimes): If the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief, Mayawati, known for her anti-upper caste diatribes, can win the support of Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh why not RJD supremo Lalu Yadav do so in Bihar.
This seems to be the latest strategy of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. Why not? After all it has been provided an opportunity to do so by none else but the Janata Dal (United), which has suddenly ditched them.
Mayawati started her experiment by wooing Brahmins, which has around 10 per cent population in Uttar Pradesh. Lalu initiated his campaign to befriend upper castes by winning over arch-rival, Prabhunath Singh, an influential Rajput leader of north Bihar.
It was rather by default that RJD turned into Rajput Janata Dal, when three out of four MPs, who got elected on the party ticket in the last year parliamentary election, came from this caste. True some Rajputs did vote for the party, but Rajputs, as a whole, were not inclined towards the RJD till the Nitish government’s reported plan to introduce Bataidari law late last year. The wheel finally turned full circle with Prabhunath, with hundreds of supporters, joining the RJD on August 7 last. A new formula PMRY (Paswan, Muslim, Rajput and Yadav) has been floated to counter the Janata Dal (United)-BJP combine.
Now efforts are on to woo Bhumihars, Brahmins and Kayasthas, the three other upper castes of the state. In fact Lalu was, a few months back, invited by an organization of Bhumihars, to speak on the issue of land and sharecropping. This in itself was a big conciliatory move from both the sides as during the 15 years rule Bhumihars were in the forefront of their opposition to Lalu Yadav. This, in spite of the fact, that before the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendation Lalu had a good relationship with Bhumihars, especially in his home turf of Gopalganj.
There is also plan to give more tickets to Brahmins, especially in Mithilanchal, where there is a sizeable Yadav and Muslim population too. Attempts are also on to win over Kayasthas, considered as the BJP’s strong votebank. There are quite a few disgruntled Kayastha and Brahmin leaders in Janata Dal (United), whom RJD may allure by giving tickets in assembly election.
Upper castes may form only 15 per cent of Bihar’s population but they have considerable influence in the state politics. However, only time will tell whether it could neutralize the efforts made by the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, to allure Extreme Backward Castes and Mahadalits.
Since there is no permanent enemy or friend in politics the RJD would certainly try to widen its support-base. True it still has full faith in Muslims and Yadavs, yet it is aware that if it wants to come back to power it needs the support of the other social groups too.
In this regard the party organized a high-level meeting last week.