Monday, 3 March 2014

Betraying the Bahujans: Dalit politicians, secular leaders joining hands with BJP ahead of 2014 elections

One after the other, Dalit leaders are now flocking to join the the BJP- led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The final push to get BJP more than 200 seats seems succeeding now as an even the most vociferous anti-brahminism leaders have no hitch in supporting Narendra Modi.

Is plan NAMO succeeding now. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) expected the BJP to use Modi's aggression to get more seats. Once the figure of 200 is crossed, there is hope that finding coalition partners would not be too tough.

RPI's Ramdas Athavale has been with BJP and Shiv Sena for sometime. Udit Raj, who heads Justice Party, and has been a hardcore anti-manuvadi has recently joined the party. Udit Raj's desperation is understandable. 

Despite a long movement, he has failed to get electoral support. In UP, Mayawati is the tallest Dalit leader. No other party or individual stands close to her, as far as Scheduled Caste (SC) votes are concerned. So it is not too shocking.

If these developments were not surprising, the latest is Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan's change of heart. For more than three decades, Bihar-based Paswan, has been a strong Dalit leader. He was seen as a secular leader, who has solid support among Muslims in North India.

But 'secularism' is no longer in vogue now. His decision has surprised Dalit community though he was an opportunist and earlier too served as minister in NDA regime. Clearly, the BJP is marching ahead of Congress, when it comes to forming coalition ahead of Lok Sabha election 2014. 

All these leaders may not bring many seats, but they can change the perception and help the BJP in shedding the image of 'untouchable' party. So BJP is no longer a Bania party with Brahmin, Rajput and middle-class (section of OBC) support? 

The Dalits are joining the BJP and this symbolism may help the party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. With Congress in disarray and Third Front no longer a strong entity, the BJP campaign seems to be gaining steam, at least, for the time being.

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