BJP mulls Dalit Dy CM to blunt SP-BSP synergy
The BJP is planning to induct a Dalit Deputy Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh to put the caste equation right in the State ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
The party wants to reach out to Dalits — who constitute a huge 22 per cent — in a big way in view of the possible alliance between arch rivals — the Samajwadi Party and the BSP — in the polls.
The two Deputy CMs in the UP Government — Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya — belong to Brahmin and OBC caste respectively.
The plan may be implemented when a Cabinet reshuffle is effected by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, sources said. The reshuffle is overdue and could be carried out before the announcement of the poll-schedule for four States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address three public rallies in UP, including that in Azamgarh on July 14, Mizapur on July 15 and Shahjahanpur on July 21, to boost BJP’s prospects in the 2019 LS elections.
BJP president Amit Shah was in Lucknow last week to seek feedback and analyse the preparedness of his party after SP-BSP alignment and successive defeat in three Lok Sabha bypolls, the latest being Kairana in west UP.
In 2014 LS elections, the BJP won 71 out of 80 seats and its ally Apna Dal bagged two seats. But a repeat of the same dream-run looks very tough for the BJP with alarmed SP-BSP joining hands. In 2014 when the BSP and the SP contested separately Mayawati did not win a single seat and the SP could corner only five.
The SP-BSP combination, with Yadavs, Dalits and Muslim, has already tasted success against the BJP in the bypolls in the State, winning three important LS seats of Phulpur, Gorakhpur (home constituency of CM) and Kairana.
Apprehensive of a slide in the LS tally following the possibility of a mega-coalition against it in the State, the BJP is trying hard to woo non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits (most backwards among them) to counter the caste coalition led by Mayawati, Akhilesh and RLD leader Ajit Singh.
Jatavs, mainly committed to BSP leader Mayawati, constitute an estimated 12 to 14 per cent of 22 per cent Dalit community in the State. The BJP which is seeking to expand its caste umbrella beyond upper castes could include more Ministers from Jatav community in the Yogi-Government, sources said.