At a time when caste equations are in full swing in poll-bound Rajasthan and the BJP is facing an onslaught from upper castes, party’s national president Amit Shah is arriving Bikaner on Thursday, October 4, for a state-level mega rally for SC communities.
According to O P Mahendra, president of BJP Rajasthan SC Morcha chief, the rally will have its own significance as Bikaner is a hub of SC communities in the state.
”We have important stakes with the Scheduled Caste voters,” he said. Rajasthan has 34 Assembly seats that are reserved for the SC community. In 2013, the BJP had won 32 of these while the Congress drew a blank. In 2014, however, the Congress won the Weir reserved seat in a bypoll.
”Our victory in 32 of the reserved seats was significant in more ways than one. Out of those we won, 10 were women legislators. Thus, it shows BJP’s deeper penetration into the Scheduled Caste vote share,” he said.
Besides districts such as Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and Rajsamand, all other districts in Rajasthan have one or two reserved SC assembly seats.
Meghwal, Berwa, Raigar, Koli, Jatav, Khatik, Harijans, Naik, Dhobhi, Dhanuk, Mochhi, Jeengar, Dome, Dholi, Mehaar, Mehra, Nat are some of the well-known Scheduled Caste or Dalit communities in Rajasthan.
In order to retain her charisma among Dalit or SC voters, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje recently waived off farm loans for more than 12,000 farmers living in tribal districts of Southern Rajasthan.
The BJP government also created 21,500 jobs for safai karamcharis (sweepers) trying to woo mostly the deprived and under developed communities.
However, there are some worries too as some Dalits were allegedly targeted during last few years and there have been reports of atrocities against them, sources said.