As the state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh inch closer, nearly all the political parties have started their calculated moves. The announcement of reservation for OBC and EWS students in medical colleges is being termed as a masterstroke by the ruling BJP ahead of the 2022 UP assembly elections, but on the contrary opposition parties are claiming otherwise.
The Samajwadi Party has claimed credit for the OBC reservation while the BSP has said that the decision was taken late and was intended towards political and electoral gains.
The OBC community constitutes a big chunk of votes in Uttar Pradesh and that is why nearly all the parties are now focusing on OBC voters. The announcement of OBC reservation has even irked the former BJP ally and SBSP Chief Om Prakash Rajbhar who has been demanding to implement the recommendations made by UP social justice committee.
The decision of the Central Government to give 27 percent reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the NEET examination is politically significant. In Uttar Pradesh, the election begul has already been blown by several parties, in such a situation, the Modi government has tried to make both the backward and upper caste a reason to be happy by announcing 10 percent reservation to the economically weaker sections and 27 percent to the backward.
This is the reason that the parties which were ahead in doing the politics of the backward came to the fore immediately, while a national party like Congress is still talking about incomplete social justice. Although this decision will be applicable across the country and will also have an impact, especially for Uttar Pradesh, there are many political implications hidden in it.
According to the report of the Social Justice Committee, the number of backward castes in the population of UP is about 54 percent. Although it also includes Muslim populations like Teli, Weaver, still a large number of Hindu backward castes are there. Among them, the leaning of castes like Kurmi, Lodh, and Maurya has been towards the BJP since Jan Sangh era. It is said that in the last UP assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the leaning of Yadavs was also towards the BJP. This is the reason that the Samajwadi Party was active on the issue of reservation.
Speaking to News18, BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla said, “Akhilesh Yadav is showing his childish attitude. When a child starts walking and falls while walking, the elders of the house say that look, your fall broke the floor and the child becomes happy. This is exactly the situation of Akhilesh Yadav, he is telling the social justice of the Modi government as the result of his struggles. On the other hand, the Congress is trapped in its own game of forward and backward, and is calling it incomplete social justice.”
On the other hand, Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi noted, “The government is continuously increasing the fees in medical and engineering colleges, from where will the poor children get the fees, the government is not even talking about it, so it is incomplete justice.”