The BJP has decided to use its OBC morcha to counter the possible negative impact of desertions by backward caste leaders in Uttar Pradesh.
The morcha has been tasked with reaching out to leaders of the OBC community at the local level and raising awareness on welfare measures implemented by the Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath governments to benefit the community.
The BJP OBC Morcha will, as part of this programme, reach out to the community by either holding small gatherings or virtually connecting with influential personalities.
The plan is to counter the narrative being set by some non-Yadav OBC leaders, who have quit the BJP over the past few days. Uttar Pradesh has 39 per cent OBC voters, of which Yadavs make up 7 per cent.
“We will compare their tenure to ours. The Samajwadi Party needs to answer why it did not support constitutional status to backward commission. Why did PM Modi have to do it? If they are so concerned about the community, why did the Congress object to the bill when it was presented in parliament? Who are the main beneficiaries of all those schemes for the poor? People from backward castes got the benefits. All these people never spoke of reservation. Parivar ke thekedaar hain sab (They are ruled by dynasty),” said K Laxman, president of the BJP OBC Morcha.
The morcha held its state executive at Ayodhya in September, which was attended by the chief minister.
“We have had 17 samajik sammelans at district and mandal levels in UP till now. We are ready to do it virtually as well,” Laxman said.
He also said steps the Modi-Yogi government had taken steps for the welfare of OBCs, including constitutional status to the national backward commission, government-approved 27 per cent reservation of OBCs in medical education and giving teeth to the commission if these decisions were flouted.
“This financial year, at Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya schools and law universities, OBCs will be getting reservation and lakhs of students will gain from it. In the NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test), for undergraduate and graduate, 27 per cent reservation was given, while economically backward castes got 10 per cent reservation. The Modi government also made a separate ministry for fisheries,” Laxman said.
He further said during his cabinet rejig, the PM gave proper representation to the community. “We held ‘jan ashirwad yatra’ for those ministers across the country. No other prime minister or party has taken care of the political representation of OBCs like the Modi government. Congress and opposition, including the SP, did not even let us introduce those ministers to the house,” Laxman said.
He said state cabinet minister Dara Singh Chauhan’s exit was expected by the party as he had not attended a single morcha meeting. Laxman slammed his predecessor for quitting the BJP to join the SP ahead of the assembly elections.
Laxman, who is also incharge of gathering OBC support ahead of the polls, said Chauhan’s “personal agenda” was at the centre of his decision to leave the party. “He has a personal agenda. The reason he left is different from what he is telling people. He had made a few demands that were not fulfilled. He hasn’t resigned for welfare of the society,” Laxman said.
Chauhan had attacked the BJP in his resignation letter by calling it “anti-OBC and anti- poor”. Chauhan was not just any other minister in Yogi’s cabinet. He was the national president of the BJP OBC Morcha.
“Dara Singh Chauhan has never uttered a word of protest against any policy of the government within the party’s forum. Since I became national president, we have had several meetings of the morcha but he never attended any despite invitations,” said Laxman, while maintaining that the OBC morcha meetings was a platform where concerns ailing the community were discussed.