Advertisement
Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

UP's Lion's Share In Rejig Signals BJP's Attempt To Get Caste Equation Right Ahead of 2022 Polls

BJP is being wary in UP, where people predominantly vote along caste and regional lines

UP's Lion's Share In Rejig Signals BJP's Attempt To Get Caste Equation Right Ahead of 2022 Polls
Seven of the 36 new faces inducted in the Council of Ministers are from UP, taking the total representation from the state to 16. | (Twitter/BJP)
UP's Lion's Share In Rejig Signals BJP's Attempt To Get Caste Equation Right Ahead of 2022 Polls
outlookindia.com
2021-07-08T14:07:33+05:30

It is evident from the Cabinet overhaul by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 7 that the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in 2022 are on his mind.

Seven of the 36 new faces inducted in the Council of Ministers are from UP, taking the total representation from the state to 16. Care has been taken to balance caste and regional equations in the state. Those inducted in the Cabinet include Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal (Sonelal) – a small but key ally of the BJP – B.L. Verma, Pankaj Chaudhary, SP Singh Baghel, Kaushal Kishore, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, and Ajay Kumar Mishra.

The focus is to target the constituencies of non-Yadav OBCs, especially the Kurmis and Scheduled Castes, and non-Jatav Dalits ahead of the 2022 elections. Patel and Chaudhary represent the Kurmis, and B.L. Verma belongs to the Lodh community. Given the importance of Dalit votes in UP, the three ministers representing SCs are Baghel, Kishore, and Bhanu Pratap Verma. Incidentally, Kishore was one of the state leaders who had questioned the handling of Covid-19 by the Yogi Adityanath government.

The entry of Ajay Kumar Mishra into the council of ministers will give representation to the Brahmins. Maintaining the delicate regional balance, the seven ministers represent Rohilkhand, Bundelkhand, Awadh, and Purvanchal regions of the state.

After the less-than-satisfactory performance in West Bengal elections, the BJP does not want to take any chances in UP, where people predominantly vote along caste and regional lines. “The party leadership was anyway under pressure because of handling of the Covid-19 second wave. The entire exercise of the Cabinet rejig is aimed at improving the perception of the government going into important assembly elections next year and the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The PM’s message is that he is willing to make hard decisions to improve administration and governance; to put the coronavirus fiasco behind,” reveals a senior BJP leader.

Recently, when senior RSS functionaries including general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale visited UP to interact with the cadres, they got complaints about the chief minister’s proclivity towards Thakurs at the cost of others. In addition to mismanagement of coronavirus, this was the most notable feedback that the RSS got from the ground. Given that the BJP needed to give adequate weightage to various castes, groups, and regions. That is what the reshuffle has attempted.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Omicron: New Strain Of Coronavirus Escalates Need For Global Vaccine Sharing

Omicron: New Strain Of Coronavirus Escalates Need For Global Vaccine Sharing

'Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders, our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us', wrote former British PM Gordon Brown.

Covid-19: Experts' Take On Omicron And Possibility Of Third Wave In India

Covid-19: Experts' Take On Omicron And Possibility Of Third Wave In India

Though the health experts and scientists in India have advised caution yet they feel that the current immune profile of the majority of the population in India makes them less vulnerable to Omicron as compared to any other country in the world.

IND Vs NZ, 1st Test, Day 4 Live: Iyer, Saha Leads India Fightback

IND Vs NZ, 1st Test, Day 4 Live: Iyer, Saha Leads India Fightback

The first India vs New Zealand Test is delicately poised with both teams having an opportunity to force a decision. Follow here live cricket scores and updates of IND vs NZ on Day 4.

What Is Omicron: All You Need To Know About The New Coronavirus Strain

What Is Omicron: All You Need To Know About The New Coronavirus Strain

After the detrimental Delta variant which took the world by storm in the second wave of Covid-19, WHO recently declared ‘Omicron’ as the latest ‘variant of concern’ (VOC).

Advertisement