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RJD+ Wins EBC and SC Votes, Gets Overwhelming Support from Muslim-Yadavs: Today's Chanakya Caste Survey

File photo of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

File photo of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The survey shows that 40% of the EBC population is behind the JD(U)-BJP combine and 33% is supporting the RJD-Congress alliance. Among Scheduled Caste voters, 39% said they were behind the NDA and 34% said they were supporting the Mahagathbandhan (MGB).

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Suhas Munshi

An interesting data point emerging from the caste survey carried out by Today’s Chanakya is that a significant chunk of the Economically Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste votes, which had solidly been behind Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, have now distributed almost evenly between JD(U)+ and RJD+.

The survey shows that 40% of the EBC population is behind the JD(U)-BJP combine and 33% is supporting the RJD-Congress alliance. Among Scheduled Caste voters, 39% said they were behind the NDA and 34% said they were supporting the Mahagathbandhan (MGB).

Today’s Chanakya also shows that among OBCs, 51% of non-Yadav OBCs were firmly behind the NDA, while 30% non-Yadav OBCs expressed faith in the MGB. Sixty-nine per cent of Yadavs, as a caste block, backed MGB to the hilt, while NDA got only 22% of their vote. Yadavs make 16% of Bihar’s total population.

From other caste blocks, NDA seems to have bagged support the majority support of upper castes at 60%, while Muslims seem to have overwhelmingly backed the MGB at 80%.

With nearly half of Bihar’s population being comprised of EBC/OBC communities, SCs with 15% and Muslims with 17% of state’s population, RJD+ seems to have achieved its caste arithmetic and seat distribution better than JD(U)+.

However, RJD+ has not only received huge support from Muslim-Yadav voters, but has also made significant forays into the SC and EBC communities. What makes this fact interesting is that both Manjhi and VIP, which were part of the MGB but switched over to NDA just before polls, citing seat differences, seem not to have delivered much for JD(U)+.

After Mukesh Sahani of the VIP and Jitan Manjhi of HAM(S) walked out of the MGB, the Chief Ministerial face of the opposition camp – Tejashwi Yadav – did not make any attempt to placate and retain them. Their failed partnership in Lok Sabha polls had perhaps given RJD the idea that the two parties were not successful in transferring their votes to Lalu Yadav’s party.

On the other hand, RJD played a gamble at the last minute, with the walkout of VIP and HAM(S), and by giving a mammoth 29 seats to the left parties, and for the first time allying with CPI(ML), to which they gave 19 seats. Left parties and CPI(ML) in particular, are perceived to have a huge support among EBCs, Dalits and Mahadalits.


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