BJP president Amit Shah Sunday sought to enlist the support of Other Backward Communities to help the party gain power in politically crucial states Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly elections are scheduled in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
“Change is necessary in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to bring about a sea change in the development of the nation. The BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, would help bring these states at par with Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh,” Shah said.
He was addressing a public meeting organised by former Samajwadi Party leader Anil Rajbhar at Varanasi. In the meeting, termed ‘Adhikar Pao Maharally’, Anil Rajbhar, a former MLA, and thousands of his supporters, both from Rajbhar and other backward communities, joined the BJP. The meeting coincided with the birth anniversary of Rajvir Suheldev Rajbhar, the icon of the Rajbhar community, who is said to have stopped an invader out to destroy temples, including Kanak Bhavan in Ayodhya, around a thousand years ago.
Shah said the nation respected Suheldev for his “rashtra prem aur dharm prem (patriotism and love for religion)”.
Shah, however, insisted that the BJP was not indulging in caste politics and only wanted the extremely poor and backward sections to join the national mainstream. “I have no hesitation in saying that if large sections of the extremely backward sections, including Rajbhars and others had not supported BJP en bloc, the party would never have been able to garner 73 seats in UP. We may have formed a government, but we would not have got majority,” he said.
Stating that the Centre has done everything possible to empower the poor through programmes such as Jan Dhan Yojana and the Insurance Scheme, Shah said: “We want to do more. We have to give you employment, roads, power, education, and water for your fields. This cannot be possible unless the BJP comes to power (in UP and Bihar)”.
Shah also assured that BJP, if brought to power, will do everything possible to ensure that Rajbhars got the benefits of reservation. “We realise that although you have reservation in UP, its benefits actually go to a particular section among the Other Backward Classes,” he added.
Referring to SP and BSP, Shah exhorted the gathering to teach lessons to those who have cheated them. “They all talked about removing poverty. Lekin garibi kiski door hui? Jo netaji ke kareebi the unkee, jo behenji ke kareebi the unke (Whose poverty was alleviated? Only of those who were close to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati),”said Shah.
Meanwhile, Anil Rajbhar reminded his people how both SP and BSP have cheated them in the name of social justice. “Not only Rajbhars, but Biyars, Kewat Mallah, Prajapati and other communities are also looking at you with great hope. We want progress. We have been cheated by those, who have vowed by social justice,” said Rajbhar, expressing allegiance to the BJP.
Rajbhar also reminded the BJP that, in 2001, it had formed a committee to find out whether the benefits of reservations had gone to only one section of the community or other needy sections also.