More Trouble For BJP In Uttar Pradesh. After Four Dalit MPs, Allies Indicate A Rethink.
A BJP MLA & Minister Has Called His Own Government Incompetent & Corrupt
Despite being able to secure the election of nine members to the Rajya Sabha recently, at the expense of the BSP, through cross-voting, difficulties for the BJP are set to grow into a storm.
Four of its Dalit MPs have written letters to the Prime Minister, making allegations about how they are treated and how the BJP has “done nothing” for Dalits in four years.
Om Prakash Rajbhar, MLA and minister in the UP ministry and leader of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, in his most serious attack so far on the Chief Minister has said the CM “must be from among the elected MLAs”. Aditya Nath, head-priest of the Gorakhnath temple, and the founder of the controversial militia, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, was the MP from Gorakhpur since 1998, and specially picked by the BJP high command after the verdict. The Deputy Chief Minister, Keshav Prasad Maurya too was picked and put in the job from the top.
Rajbhar has levelled serious charges against the Aditya Nath government. In an interview to CNN-IBN, he has termed the BJP government “corrupt”, the 325 MLAs “nalaayak” or “incompetent.”
Rajbhar has also said that he will “rethink his alliance with the BJP” after a meeting with the BJP Chief, Amit Shah on Tuesday.
Now, its other pre-poll ally, with two MPs-Apna Dal has said it would rather “sit in the Opposition benches.” It May be recalled that a painstaking alliance of small parties had helped BJP sweep votes in 2014, and then in 2017.
It has been an uneasy and surprising start to the new year for the BJP. If the narrow victory in the Gujarat assembly elections had mixed signals for the ruling party, the losses in each of the five Lok Sabha by-polls held in the country have a more direct message.
Of all the losses, the loss in Gorakhpur and Phulpur hit home hard. Gorakhpur, having been a BJP bastion since 1989 and continuously so, since 1998, stunned the ruling party, especially as its MP from 1998, currently the CM, heads a 325 MLA group in the 403 member assembly.
The coming together of the SP and BSP before the Lok Sabha by-polls has signalled a social and political combination which is virtually unbeatable, even if the votes cast in the assembly polls in 2017 are taken into account. With the economic downturn and social unrest, violence against Dalits being the norm, with OBCs and Muslims feeling more excluded than ever under the sense of a “Thakur” Chief Minister, the Modi factor is perceived to be at an all-time low. Smaller parties, with ultra-backward castes as their base, are feeling the pinch and want to hedge their bets, politically.
The BJP may be speaking of annihilating the Opposition publicly, but its UP and Bihar political project is carefully made up of small parties and what they represent. It was the most backward Castes which had lent it the electoral and social heft to push ahead as a broad grouping, thinking beyond its traditional and narrow upper-caste base.