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‘2019 brahmastra’: UP to slice 82 OBCs into 3 blocs | India News

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VARANASI: In a move aimed at checkmating the

SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh
+
in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the UP government will unleash a ‘brahmastra’ (master stroke) by categorising 82 OBCs into three segments so that all castes get due share of 27% reservation stipulated by the Mandal Commission, senior cabinet minister O P Rajbhar said. Rajbhar, who heads Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an ally of BJP, said the move would destroy the nascent SP-BSP alliance.

“The political brahmashtra, by categorising 82 OBCs into three heads to benefit them under 27% reservation in the state, will be launched six months before the LS polls in 2019,” he told reporters at Rasara in Ballia, perhaps giving a peep into BJP’s plan to thwart the effort by SP-BSP to counter the saffron party by weaving a social agglomerate of backwards, Dalits and Muslims.

Rajbhar said the 27% quota will be divided into three categories: pichhada (backward) with four castes, ati pichhada (very backward) with 19 castes, and sarvadhik pichhada (most backward) with 59 castes. If implemented, the categorisation can pose a serious challenge to the dominance of Yadavs, SP’s core support base, both politically and within the OBC quota.

Yadavs are seen as among the biggest beneficiaries of the OBC empowerment and quotas, with their share attracting envy of other “backwards”. The envy worked to the advantage of BJP in the 2014 LS polls as well as the 2017 assembly elections. Wizened by humiliating defeats, SP and BSP have tried to retrieve the situation by mulling an alliance which is expected to be a vehicle for pulling in the non-Yadav OBCs who helped BJP score the successive landslides.

The political pilot successfully attempted in Phulpur and Gorakhpur LS bypolls where BSP helped SP’s candidates, Kurmi and Nishad — in that order — prevail over BJP, brought out the potential of the proposed socal comination. “So far, these castes had been playing in the hands of SP, BSP and Congress to get their share.

Now, we will keep them on our side by giving them their due share,” said Rajbhar, his candour confirming what was being speculated in political circles about BJP chief Amit Shah’s possible response to the efforts to defeat it in the vast plains of the country’s most populous state.

Updated: May 2, 2018 — 5:22 am

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