NEW DELHI: The SC/ST violence, which erupted in various parts of the country last year, was touted to be a major poll issue with pundits saying it could be a factor against the BJP, which had won 63 of 128 reserved in 2014.
However, the BJP and Narendra Modi successfully warded off these fears and in 2019, emerged victorious in 78 reserved seats. With their allies, the count went up to 86, amounting to around 68 per cent.
According to political experts, the BJP, by making microscopic calculations, was able to do this. “They did not have a blanket strategy for wooing the SCs and Dalits.
For example, they increased the representation of non-Jatavs in local governments and local bodies. Similarly, in other places, they had different welfare-based strategies,” said Aditya Nigam, professor at the Centre for Studies on Developing Societies.
Nigam felt that Dalit issues which hit the headlines like the Rohith Vemula case did not resonate with the people on an individual level. “It did not affect them hence they did not feel the need to be anti-BJP.”