Lesson from state polls 2022: Caste to class, BJP reaps benefit of welfare schemes
The process is slow, but it has started. This process started not because of any Left ideology, but due to the socio-economic empowerment of the poor communities.
Published: 15th March 2022 10:50 AM | Last Updated: 15th March 2022 05:02 PM | A+A A-
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly election is over, with an amazing victory for BJP. Yogi Adityanath is again going to form the government, with more caution and a balancing attitude.
The UP election and even the election in Uttarakhand sent out messages we need to read. The first message from UP is, a class has started emerging in the caste-based society, especially among the marginalised and poor communities.
The process is slow, but it has started. This process started not because of any Left ideology, but due to the socio-economic empowerment of the poor communities. The Narendra Modi-led BJP government since 2014 started various social welfare schemes such as Ujjwala Yojana, free ration, PM Awas Yojana, direct cash transfer and pension plans.
Every party in power makes its own beneficiaries, but BJP through constant connect with the beneficiaries, transformed them into a community with consciousness. The party transformed them from a mere physical body to conscious beings who vote for the party.
This beneficiary community is beyond caste and religion and it emerged as a community that broke its caste identity boundaries. Modi appealed to the party’s cadres to go to the houses of the PM Awas Yojana beneficiaries on the day of Diwali, light candles with them and distribute sweets.
The BJP invented various ways to connect with these beneficiaries. But this beneficiary consciousness is transitory and the party needs to constantly come up with new plans for their empowerment, for gradually responding to these growing aspirational consciousness of the poor and marginalised.
It is very interesting to observe that the party started its election campaign in UP with developmental claims and describing its success in delivering various social welfare schemes among the poor and marginalised. Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of education and in-charge of UP election 2022, facilitated cadres to interact with these beneficiaries and encourage them to go to the polling booths. This mobilising strategy worked.
We were observing the trajectories of UP elections closely. What we observed when PM Narendra Nodi took the lead of of the campaign, it brought a qualitative change in the entire electioneering process. His charisma, ways of connecting with people worked well and many BJP candidates who could have lost, ultimately won. For us on the field who were observing this, it was like magic, what people call Modi magic.
Thirdly, BJP as a very effective election machine worked well and harnessed this victory. Its star campaigners such as Modi, Yogi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh were making an impact through their rallies and meetings. On the other hand, hardworking organisers such as Pradhan, worked tirelessly on the ground.
Last but not the least, the Sangh cadres worked voluntarily during this election and organised local war rooms. They also interacted with the beneficiaries, other than working at the booth level. All this put together produced such a result, not only in UP but also in Uttarakhanad. This beneficiary consciousness and Modi magic produced this victory, which might have come as a surprise to many.
Director, GB Pant Social Science Institute, Prayagraj