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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Assembly Elections 2012 UP Strategy

BJP plans OBC sub-quota to foil Cong's Muslim moves
Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 11, 2012
First Published: 00:31 IST(11/1/2012)
Last Updated: 00:33 IST(11/1/2012)

The BJP is likely to promise "all possible help, including sub-quotas" for the most deprived castes among other backward classes (OBC), Hindu or Muslim, and scheduled castes (SC) in the run-up to Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

A prominent BJP leader told HT the party's vision document for the state was likely to make such a promise.

The party wants to add OBCs and ati (extreme)-Dalits to its now-waning upper caste

support base to cobble up enough votes to stay at least in the third spot.

It is for this that the BJP is hitting out at the 4.5% quota for backward minorities from the 27% OBC central quota pool, as also the Congress's promise of 9% quota to the UP Muslims.

"The OBCs, and particularly the most vulnerable groups among OBCs, are going to suffer due to this," said BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. "This is an attack on the self-respect of the backwards, and the BJP is the only party that is standing with them on this."

As UP chief minister, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh tried to carve out sub-quotas in quest of support among the non-Jatav Dalits and the non-Yadav backwards. The logic: there is a perception that only some castes like the Yadavs - supporters of the Samajwadi Party - among UP OBCs, and the Jatavs - BSP chief Mayawati's caste of leather workers - among UP Dalits have reaped the benefits of reservation because they are more developed than others.

The BJP believes any promise to split the OBC and SC quotas to provide sub-quotas to the most vulnerable in each would earn for the party fresh support and also weaken the SP and BSP by splitting OBC and Dalit votes.

The party is going to hold agitations across the state on January 13 to oppose the minorities' quota. The issue may also figure in its constituency-wise padyatras later this month - one local, regional or national leader will tour each constituency in UP - as also its three-day door-to-door campaign programme in 288 constituencies.


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