The Samajwadi Party plans to field a number of candidates from the extremely backward classes and upset the calculations of the RJD-JD(U), which draw their support base from the EBCs.
“We admit we are playing caste politics. In UP and Bihar, you cannot win without forging caste combinations,” Ramchandra Yadav, party president in Bihar, told The Indian Express. “There are several EBCs in Bihar — Prajapati, Lohar, Badhai, Mallah, Dhobi, Chaurasia — with each group numbering 20 to 25 lakh. They are used during elections and forgotten later. The SP will promote them and give them tickets.”
The SP is also offering party posts and plans to hold separate conclaves for these EBC groups. “The SP has given such groups (MBCs) their due share in UP. Leaders from the SP government representing these groups will address meetings of their castes in Bihar,” he said. Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, Shankhlal Manji and Kailash Chaurasia are among UP ministers from the MBCs.
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“We will release our first list on September 19-20,” Yadav said. He said talks are on with Pappu Yadav and others. Pappu met NCP leader Tariq Anwar in Patna Wednesday. Anwar confirmed this but did not disclose what they discussed.
Former Union minister Raghunath Jha, who has left the RJD, is set to join the SP Thursday, Ramchandra Yadav said. He predicted more inductions on September 22, when UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav addresses an SP workers’ meeting in Patna.
With ENS in Patna