CHANDIGARH: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is eyeing the significant Other Backward Castes (OBC) and Scheduled Caste (SC) vote bank in western and northern Haryana respectively, in order to consolidate it’s Non-Jat votes for their `Mission-75’ in these assembly elections.
The party has sharped its caste strategy from establishing community centres for the scheduled caste community (Valmiki and Harijan Chaupals) and relying on their panna pramukhs.
In it’s election manifesto it has also promised collateral-free loans to SC households. The reason is that in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the party got more than 70 per cent of the vote share of both OBC and Non-Jat upper caste votes.
In its effort to consolidate dalit votes, the BJP led Haryana government had inaugurated many community centres for the scheduled caste community before the code of conduct came into force.
It is just a small part of the big strategy of the party to these votes. The party won nine SC seats in 2014 assembly elections out of 17 seats reserved for the scheduled caste with 33.2 per cent vote share. To consolidate the SC-OBC vote share the saffron party is concentrating on SC chuapals.
"In these the SC community can hold their meeting or weeding or other family functions or their children can play or senior citizens of the community can send time," said a senior party functionary.
It is learnt that the concept of building chaupals started in 1978 during the tenure of Chaudhary Devi Lal, when he was the Chief Minister of Haryana. Then chaupal (Jat, Valmiki, Harijan or Rajput) for each community was erected as it became part of state’s culture.
The saffron party which is cadre-based has a strong force of panna pramukhs, as there are three lakh of them in the state as each of them is assigned fifty families as they ask these voters what they want and what the party is doing.
Each panna pramukh is chosen from the community that plays a dominant role in the area and OBC and Dalits leaders are also parmukhs, said party sources.
Sources said that in addition to Brahmins, Punjabi and Baniya votes the party wants these OBC and dalit votes to sale through comfortably so thus the job reservation is the other bate which is being offered.