Mohan Bhagwat & Amit Shah With Eyes On 2019, BJP And RSS Look Beyond Caste
We don’t believe in caste discrimination, Bhagwat said asserting that if there was a census on inter-caste marriages in India, the maximum cases would involve RSS workers.
Caste-based agitations have troubled the Narendra Modi government the most in the past three years. The government is battling an impression that it is anti-Dalit. It began with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment ahead of Bihar Assembly election in 2015. Bhagwat had then called for a re-look at the reservation policy. The comment was later blamed for the defeat of the BJP in Bihar, where the JDU of Nitish Kumar and the RJD of Lalu Prasad joined hands taking the Congress onboard.
The BJP had made calculated move for 2014 polls in as many states as possible to align with parties or groups having base in core caste groups. That strategy helped the party translate the groundswell for Narendra Modi into a majority victory in the Lok Sabha election. Now, with 2019 election time drawing closer, there seems a clear attempt by the RSS-BJP combine to debunk caste identity.
On the second day of the RSS conclave, Mohan Bhagwat junked the Congress-mukt slogan of the BJP saying, Hum log to sarvlok-yukt Bharat waale log hain, mukt waale nahin hain. On the third day, Bhagwat denounced the election campaign characterised by references to shamshan, kabristan and bhagwa aatankwaad. During the three-day conclave of the RSS in New Delhi ending Wednesday, September 19, Mohan Bhagwat emphasised the need for inclusive approach. He both complimented and contradicted PM Modi on few occasions to drive the point that inclusive politics is the way forward.
Bhagwat also buried his 2015 remark on reservation saying, Ek hazaar varsh ki bimari thik karne ke liye agar 100-150 saal humko neeche jhuk kar rehna padta hai to yeh mehnga sauda nahi hai. Reservation is not the problem. But the problem is politics on reservation, Bhagwat said reiterating what PM Modi has said on several occasions to dispel the notion the BJP is working for ending reservation in jobs and education.
Bhagwat’s remarks followed an address of the BJP workers by party president Amit Shah only a few days ago. While asking the BJP workers to gear up for 2019 election and target aspirational class voters and those benefitted by the schemes of the Modi government. Amit Shah told the BJP workers and leaders not to worry about caste equations in Lok Sabha constituencies. Leave the concern about how many brahmins, Dalits or OBCs are there in a Lok Sabha seat for the Opposition parties and alliances, we just need to count who all have got the benefits of the schemes like Ujjwala Yojana, LPG scheme.
The 2019 is not a caste but class battle for the BJP Amit Shah said. He said that the class of voters with aspirations would be crucial as they proved in the Gujarat election where certain caste-leaders were aligned against the BJP.
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