30 Sept 2023

Lok Sabha elections- 2024: OBC votes will be crucial but who OBCs will support- NDA or INDIA?

The efforts to woo OBC voters have intensified before this year's Assembly and next year's Lok Sabha elections-2024 and both Congress and BJP and their alliance parties are trying to woo them.

OBC card will be very crucial for both 'INDIA' and 'NDA' alliance parties in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

OBC castes constitute 42 to 52 percent of the country's population. Therefore, the inclination of this huge voter base community towards any alliance is a guarantee of its victory.

OBC voters have played an important role in the big victory of BJP during the last two elections.

In 2014 and 2019 elections, OBC votes shifted towards BJP.

If we look at the elections of 2014 and 2019, the votes of OBC have shifted towards BJP. 

Rahul Gandhi trying to mobilize OBC voters

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is trying to mobilize OBC voters by demanding OBC survey and caste quota in the women's reservation bill.

He has called OBC cell leaders of all the states to Delhi so that the strategy to garner support of OBC voters can be decided.

OBC voters have drifted away from Congress since 1989. Now Congress has understood that it is the OBC voters whom it has to win back.

Therefore, Congress has been supporting the caste census. It is demanding OBC quota in the reservation bill and is arguing for increasing the reservation for OBC to 50 percent.

BJP to hold OBC Mahakumbh in Prayaraj in Nov

BJP, which has made inroads among OBC voters in the last two Lok Sabha elections, is also busy making aggressive strategies in this regard. BJP is organizing 'OBC Mahakumbh' in Prayaraj in November so that its contact with the voters of backward castes can be strengthened.

In Bihar, the RJD and Janata Dal (United) governments are conducting caste surveys and are very aggressive on the caste census.

Whereas in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party is organizing rallies, worker training camps and conferences keeping the caste census in the focus.

Opposition demand

For the last one-and-a-half years there has been a demand from opposition that OBCs should be counted. Opposition parties are demanding this and now that the Women's Reservation Bill has come, there is a demand for quota for OBC women within it too.

BJP has now become defensive on this issue. It has to tell how many OBC MPs there are among its 303 MPs. How many OBC MLAs does it have? How many of its ministers are OBC?

This is indicating that OBC voters will be an important issue in the upcoming assembly elections and Lok Sabha elections. Whereas opposition parties are pointing out that BJP is hesitant in taking steps in the interest of OBC voters.

BJP created division among backward castes

OBC voters are divided. In the last two elections, BJP started wooing weaker OBC castes to get a large section of OBC voters in its fold.

BJP has taken advantage of this strategy in UP elections. Now Rohini Commission has been formed and it has been given constitutional status.

According to analysts, this commission has been created to benefit the extremely backward castes.

BJP promoted political mobilization against the influential OBC castes in every state. In contrast to the Marathas in Maharashtra, Jats in Haryana and Yadavs in UP, the comparatively socially weaker OBC castes were promoted.

BJP pushed forward the narrative that Jats, Yadavs or Vokkaligas are taking advantage of OBC reservation and other facilities. Most backward castes are not getting its benefit. In this way BJP created a division among the backward castes. Among the backward classes, the number of extremely backward OBC castes is high. Therefore, more OBC voters were seen in BJP's favor.

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