Caste census became an election issue
Nitish Kumar has once again left the most effective arrow of his quiver to maintain a strong hold in politics. This arrow has not only demoralized the opponents but has also increased the stature of Nitish Kumar in the alliance. Obviously, it will not be easy for the opposition party BJP to find a counter strategy to this. Whereas Nitish, who was being marginalized in the India alliance, seems to be making a comeback in the alliance with a bang. In such a situation, it is too early to say whether his intention of doing politics on the national platform will be successful or not, but Nitish Kumar has once again turned the tide of politics in his favor with his move.
BJP has started trying to find a solution to Nitish Kumar’s politics in Bihar. By increasing the reservation limit to 65 percent, Nitish Kumar has once again tried to help the backward and extremely backward people. Nitish has given cabinet approval to the issue of 75 percent reservation by including economically backward people. Therefore, BJP is trying to make an issue of wrongly increasing the number of Yadavs and Muslims.
At the same time, there is a view going on in BJP that the majority of those taking benefit of reservation are Yadavs and Kurmi. Therefore, the remaining castes can be mobilized in the name that even after increasing the reservation limit, the extremely backward classes will be deprived of the benefits of reservation. Obviously the party is defensive on many issues, in which there is a provision to raise 94 lakh people above the 2 lakh poverty line.
Is it not easy to find the answer to Nitish’s master stroke?
Nitish Kumar has included all castes among 94 lakh people whose income is up to Rs 6 thousand. People of all castes are included in it. Putting the ball in the Centre’s court in the Assembly, Nitish said that if the Central Government gives the status of a special state, then this work can be done soon, otherwise it will take five years to complete it. Nitish Kumar has announced to increase the amount for purchasing land from Rs 60 thousand to Rs 1 lakh for those living without houses, while the matter of giving Rs 1 lakh 20 thousand for building a house has been tabled in the House. BJP is trying to find a solution to all these schemes of Nitish, but at present it is not easy to find a solution in Bihar.
According to a BJP leader, Nitish Kumar is trying to win over 80 percent of the voters with one trick and it will not be easy for BJP to find a solution to this. Obviously Nitish Kumar has become a spent force, such things started being said after the results of the 2020 assembly elections. Political pundits like Prashant Kishor had started considering him almost finished after the Lok Sabha elections, but Nitish Kumar has once again prepared to make a strong comeback with this move. This is such a move that he can present as an example in the entire country and say that Bihar is the first state which has successfully conducted caste survey and has taken initiative in the path of development by counting people on economic and educational basis.
Why is BJP looking defensive?
BJP is already aware of Nitish’s move. BJP is busy planning for this, but it is not going to be easy for BJP to solve the caste equation in Bihar. This is the reason that since four months ago, BJP is trying to create an atmosphere in Bihar against the two big castes. But, after Nitish increases the reservation limit, its impact is likely to be nationwide. That is why BJP leader Amit Shah has talked about making a leader of OBC community the CM after winning the elections in Telangana.
The same situation has also been seen in Haryana, where a Jat president has been removed and Saini from the OBC community has been appointed as the state president. Not only this, on November 1, BJP has held a meeting of OBC leaders in which it has been discussed about the posts to be given to OBCs in BJP across the country and making further plans.
Obviously, there is a challenge among the top leaders of BJP to retain the OBC votes, which have doubled in the year 2019 as compared to 2009. In fact, in the year 2009, the OBC community had given 22 percent votes to BJP. At the same time, in the year 2019, this vote percentage had touched the figure of 44 percent. Therefore, BJP is heard talking loudly about giving constitutional status to the OBC Commission and making 27 OBC ministers ministers at the Centre.
But, whether this strategy of BJP will be able to counter the increase in reservation limit by Nitish, a period of churning is going on in BJP. At the same time, Congress is also trying to take this narrative forward. Therefore, it is not going to be easy for Congress to isolate Nitish Kumar in the India alliance.
It will not be easy for Congress to sideline Nitish!
Nitish is considered the architect of opposition unity against BJP, but after the first meeting in Patna, second meeting in Bengaluru and third meeting in Mumbai, Nitish Kumar started appearing marginalized. Neither the convenor nor any special role has been revealed to Nitish. Obviously, after the new experiment in Bihar, if Congress talks about caste census, then it is not going to be easy for Congress to sideline Nitish Kumar.
Not only this, Nitish Kumar has the ability to keep Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee angry with Congress together. Nitish’s reservation move in Bihar will play an important role in the political condition of the country. Therefore, it cannot be denied that Nitish Kumar will be seen playing an important role in the India alliance also. Even though Congress has less trust in Nitish, Congress will not try to take such a risk now. Lalu Prasad can also support Nitish in this exercise because Lalu Prasad has his eyes on the power of Bihar which he wants his son Tejashwi to capture.