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BJP’s outreach to OBCs, Dalits

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Forms booth campaign strategy in U.P. to offset losses from an SP-BSP alliance
The BJP’s booth campaign strategy in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election will also involve an outreach to the Other Backward Classes and the Dalits. The strategy, prepared and circulated among members of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, makes this clear.

The note lays down an explicit requirement: “To enrol 20 members from the SC/ST and OBC categories (10 SC/ST and 10 OBC) through physical slips or missed calls.” Since the State has about 1.6 lakh polling booths, this translates into an attempted fresh membership of 16 lakh from the OBC and the same number from the Dalits.

A source said the aim was a deepened engagement with these social groups, which account for over half the population of the State. It will also help the BJP offset the loss caused by a grand alliance between the SP and the BSP. The BJP won 71 Lok Sabha seats in the State in 2014.

Inclusive approach
“We reckon it to be necessary to reach out to all sections. The idea is not to see the people of these categories as islands but as an integral part of society in a complementary manner,” BJP spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri told The Hindu.

Part of the BJP’s success in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections was the support it got from sections of the non-Yadav OBCs. The party has also been keen on winning over the non-Jatav Dalits, with the Jatavs being the mainstay of BSP leader Mayawati’s support base.

The party has prepared a form for the booth-level committee to fill up. It mentions the events that should be celebrated — like the birth anniversaries of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee — and asks for the list of 11 prominent castes in the vicinity of the booth, including the number of voters from each.

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