PATNA: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Friday has gone for a sea change in its make-up, appointing persons from extremely backward castes as presidents of 14 Bihar districts. The nominations came as a surprise since the RJD is mainly seen as Yadav-Muslim (M-Y) combine with close to 32 per cent vote share combined, which has been the RJD’s forte in all polls.
The EBC’s constitute 27 per cent of Bihar’s population.
By nominating more EBC’s than Yadav’s and Muslims, the party signalled a new political thrust to act as a countervailing force to Nitish Kumar led JD(U) and the BJP, which have drawn the bulk of EBC votes.
Interestingly, Yadav’s (15per cent ) who dominated most posts in RJD since 1990, have been appointed presidents of 12 districts of 38 districts, while Muslims (17per cent ) got 6 posts.
State president Jagadanand Singh said the party has taken care to amplify social representation and the names were cleared by Lalu Prasad. Also on the list are 2 Rajputs, 2 Kushwahas,1 Bhumihar, 7 SC members. The list overall suggests a heavy Backward-EBC-Dalit-Minority orientation with upper castes receiving minimal representation.
“The RJD has carefully played its quota card. This would help make it a better-rounded political bandwagon,” said a senior RJD leader.