OBC Survey: In a strategic shift, Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent comments in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, regarding the caste census were revealed as part of a calculated campaign by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to neutralize what the Opposition perceives as its key weapon for the 2024 elections.
BJP Shifts Strategy with OBC Survey Announcement to Counter Opposition’s Caste Census Campaign
According to sources, a pivotal decision was made during a November 1 meeting of the party’s central election committee, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and including Shah and party president JP Nadda. The committee decided that the BJP would announce an Other Backward Classes (OBC) survey to counter any potential impact of the Opposition’s campaign on the caste census issue. This decision was solidified in a subsequent high-level meeting on OBC outreach.
While the modalities of the OBC survey are yet to be finalized, it is anticipated that the Union government may announce the initiative shortly.
A senior BJP leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated, “The Congress keeps on parroting the promise of a caste census with the sole aim of dividing the Hindu vote. We will blunt that strategy by announcing an OBC survey too. They will only make an issue out of it if we are seen to be opposed to it. If we all agree and we also promise a survey, then they won’t divide the Hindu vote.”
BJP emphasized its prior involvement in the Bihar government when the caste survey was announced
The BJP emphasized its prior involvement in the Bihar government when the caste survey was announced. Additionally, the party supported Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s recent decision to increase reservation in the state to 75%.
Amit Shah, addressing the issue at a press conference in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, emphasized that the BJP does not engage in politics of appeasement for votes and that decisions on the caste census will be made after thorough discussions within the party. He reiterated this stance at a public meeting in Bihar, highlighting the BJP’s previous participation in the state government when the decision for the caste survey was made and alleging manipulation of numbers under pressure from the RJD’s Lalu Prasad.