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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

In caste equation, Vaishyas, Rajputs feel like outcasts

In the caste calculus of UP politics, competitive appeasement has left many dissatisfied.

lucknow Updated: Dec 18, 2011 23:24 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
Hindustan Times

In the caste calculus of UP politics, competitive appeasement has left many dissatisfied.

While the Muslims (17%) are dominant players, the Thakurs (5%) and Vaishyas (3%) too are important communities that have, over the years, played a significant role in electoral battles. All the political players have tried to keep them in good humour.

But the Vaishya community is disappointed over the "prevailing political neglect".

The community's representation has come down from 80 MLAs in 1951 to 17 in the present assembly.

"Over the years political parties have exploited the community," said Maharaja Agrasen Sabha secretary Bharat Bhushan Gupta. The community had given "money and vote" to all the parties, but none of them gave it an adequate political share, Gupta said, adding the community needed security to promote its trading activities.

Gupta, however, has a soft corner for SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had announced a holiday on Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti and provided some other sops during the previous regime.

However, another community leader Neeraj Bora said their political visibility had gone down because of the declining voting percentage. "The community has been dubbed as BJP supporters but the party too had not done much for them," Bora said.

The Rajputs too are sulking. "We play a prominent role in making or marring the fortunes of political parties in rural areas but we have been losers during the last two decades in UP," said Kshatriya Mahasabha national president Kunwar Harwansh Singh.

Lack of unity had over the years adversely affected the community, he said. After being "emotionally exploited by the BJP", the community was cautious this time, Singh said.

The Muslims, who have a large vote base, are in focus. Moves are afoot to appease the community.

First Published: Dec 18, 2011 23:22 IST