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Nitish Kumar’s EBC focus: Karpoori symbolism, more EBC faces likely in govt

JD (U) to focus more on EBC votes consolidation, to name its district party offices after Karpoori, likely to give more representation to EBC faces in government and organisation

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
January 26, 2021 9:22:12 am
Bihar Covid testing data, Bihar express investigation, Covid testing data investigation, Bihar PHC, Primary Health Centres, Bihar coronavirus cases, Patna news, Bihar news, Indian express newsBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (File Photo)

In a bid to reach out more to the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) and consolidate its position, the JD(U) on Sunday announced that its offices in all district headquarters would be named after former CM and socialist legend Karpoori Thakur, who came from EBC. With its alliance partner BJP also cultivating the EBC constituency, JD(U) feels all the more reasons to play an aggressive EBC politics.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who spoke on the birth anniversary of Karpoori Thakur, said he was committed to follow his ideals. The CM also elaborated on how the socialist leader was not allowed a full term during his tenure as CM in 1970-71 and 1977-79.

Senior JD(U) leader and Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary also played up Karpoori symbolism when he said: “It is a matter of pride I come from Samastipur, where Karpoori Thakur belonged to.”

JD(U) sources told The Indian Express since the BJP had an EBC deputy CM in Renu Devi, there were chances of a fair representation of EBCs both in the government and organisation. “EBCs are about 25 per cent of the state’s population. Sahni, Keut, Dhanuk and Mandal and Noniare are its main constituents. We already have an EBC minister, Sheela Mandal, who is daughter-in-law of the first OBC Assembly Speaker Dhanik Lal Mandal.”

A JD(U) source hinted the party may include two or three EBC ministers in the upcoming cabinet expansion. “We have to give representation to several of EBC sub-groups taking into account geographical regions. Kosi and Mothilanchal belts may send an EBC minister… JD(U)’s politics would rotate around OBC Luv-Kush (Kurmi-Koeri), EBC and Dalits. We already have Jitan Ram Manjhi as our ally,” said the source.

Another JD(U) leader said the BJP aligning with Vikasshil Insaan Party (VIP) Mukesh Sahni as its ally has given the party all the more urgency to cultivate and consolidate its own EBC constituency. “EBCs constituted a fair chunk of the 16 per cent votes we got in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In future, we would further play up Karpoori Thakur symbolism. Thalur’s son Ramnath Thakur has already been the party’s Rajya Sabha MP,” said a JD(U) leader.

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