After the recent release of caste-based survey data and increasing the reservation limit for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward castes and extremely backward castes from 50 per cent to 65 per cent, now Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has declared that he would run a campaign to demand the special category status for Bihar. CM Nitish also denounced the Centre for denying it despite the special status being necessary for the state’s progress. Nitish Kumar said Bihar will undoubtedly become the most promising and developed state in just two years if it receives the special category status. The state is known to have a glorious past, with Patna being the capital of a large prosperous empire in Magadha, though it is lagging behind today. “We will conduct a campaign to achieve the special category status,” Nitish said, as he threatened to deprive the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of their OBC vote base. The move also helps Nitish pit caste identities to counter the BJP’s election planks of religion and ultra-nationalism, since a campaign for Bihar’s special category status will communicate and channelise the state-related identity and emotions.
CONGRESS GOVT WELFARE WORK AGAINST BJP’S CENTRAL SCHEMES IN RAJASTHAN
It is a battle of the Congress’s seven guarantees versus the BJP’s central schemes in Rajasthan in the election to the 200-member Assembly to be held on November 25. However, rampant dissension distresses both the parties, resulting in a confidence deficit in both regarding the result. Perhaps this is the prominent reason why the BJP is not presenting a chief ministerial face, preferring to go with “collective leadership”, and the Congress is continuing with Ashok Gehlot as the main face of its campaign. The star campaigner for the BJP is PM Narendra Modi and the recent announcement about extending the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for another five years has been taken as an eminent masterstroke by its supporters. In constituencies where the BJP can receive benefit from polarisation, the BJP is expected to play the religion card game. Its candidates have already begun referring to the “insults” to Sanatana Dharma and to tushtikaran (appeasement of minorities). On the other hand Congress in Rajasthan is going to the polls on the basis of Gehlot’s work, foregrounding some path-breaking schemes for development and welfare, riding the slogan: “Kaam Kiya Dil Se, Congress Sarkar Phir Se”. CM Gehlot has also given clues that relations between him and his party colleague Sachin Pilot are normal, posting a joint photo on social media platforms, captioned: “Ek Sath. Jeet Rahe Hain Phir Se (Together. Winning once again).”
KARNATAKA BJP SEEKS TO GALVANISE ITSELF WTH BY VIJAYENDRA AS PRESIDENT
The BJP as Opposition in Karnataka is attempting to build a conducive atmosphere ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections by crediting the occasion of B.Y. Vijayendra, the son of former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, taking over as party state president, with Yediyurappa declaring that a mega convention of over one lakh workers would be held soon. Vijayendra has asked party workers to emphasize on sweeping the next Lok Sabha polls by winning all the 28 seats in the State. Belonging to the dominant Lingayat-Veerashaiva community, Vijayendra signalled inclusivity by motivating party legislators to view themselves as party workers rather than identifying solely with specific communities.
MAYAWATI RELIES ON DALIT-MUSLIM UNITY FOR UP POLLS, SEEKS CASTE CENSUS
With emphasis on strong organizational structure in the state ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections, BSP national president Mayawati has commenced meeting the coordinators from various party divisions in UP to take a feedback of the activities in the state and the priority is to frame booth level committees as soon as possible. The party will have seven to eight members in these committees who will be drawn from varied caste groups. BSP is also rigorously working on its old Dalit-Muslim formula and organising small cadre-based meetings at villages to expand support base among the ‘Sarv Samaj, trying to consolidate its Dalit and Muslim votes. Mayawati has raised the demand for caste census to consolidate Dalits and OBCs.
BJP-RSS PIN LOK SABHA 2024 HOPES ON RAM MANDIR INAUGURATION ZEITGEIST
Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, BJP has strategically planned its election strategy to turn a wave of sentiments into a tsunami in the wake of the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024 besides illuminating temples all over India. Sangh Parivar is discussing whether it can carry out the live telecast of the pranpratishtha (consecration programme) of the Ram Mandir on digital screens in public places across the country, with the aim of broadcasting it live to millions of Hindus in and outside of India. BJP-RSS seek to build on the religiosity of the Hindus vis-à-vis their connection with the mega-scale event touted as both historic and politically significant, with participation from both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. (IPA Service)