PATNA: The BJP is making a fresh bid to reorient its social alignment in Bihar by roping in some new social segments, especially the Yadavs.
With the appointment of Bhupendra Yadav, the Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, as the Bihar in-charge, the party’s Central leadership has given a signal that it is seriously working out a strategy to woo new sections of voters under the party fold. The new “social engineering” is planned to increase the party canvas, to bring some non-traditional voters under the party fold.
After the formation of grand alliance (Mahagatbandhan) with two bitter foe-turned-friend parties, the JD(U) and the RJD, and the Congress, the saffron party’s path to success may not be very smooth, as the large coalition may consolidate “Mandal “ forces in the state.
Yadav claimed that his party didn’t believe in sectarian politics and they wanted ‘sabka sath sabka vikas’ (cooperation of all and inclusive development). In a move to push the party off the political plateau with traditional voters, the leadership had also tried to woo Yadav voters, by appointing Nand Kishore Yadav as the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.
Yadav voters constitute about 11 percent of the total voters and are the most dominant among Backward Castes, standing solidly behind Lalu Prasad in all previous elections.
During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Narendra Modi also tried to win over Yadav voters, by making some mythological references to connect with them. Once a trusted aide of Lalu and a senior RJD leader, Ram Kripal Yadav, who had joined the saffron party, at the time of the Lok Sabha election, was fielded against Misa Bharti, Lalu’s daughter, in prestigious Patliputra constituency. Yadav won that seat, which was earlier held by Lalu.
Political observers feel it will be a Herculean task for Lalu to keep control over his voters, after being out of power for years.