Lifting geographical restrictions for BC castes may help YSRC

Vijayawada: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, seeking to consolidate his support from the Backward Castes, has adopted a special strategy of abolishing the geographical restrictions for 21 Backward Castes and their sub-castes.

The BCs from all districts of AP could avail governmental benefits irrespective of where they are. In the past, this was region-specific.

In one go, the YSRC government gave complete BC status to 21 castes and sub-castes. The party expects that this would give it a boost in terms of support from these communities in the coming elections.

These communities hold a voting strength of nearly 45 lakh in a state that has an electorate of 366 lakh. Earlier, the BCs used to support Telugu Desam. But, in the 2019 elections, they backed the YSRC and Jagan Mohan Reddy. In return, he as chief minister continues giving top priority to BCs in both the government and party.

Jagan Reddy is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that he and his party retain power after the 2024 elections, which he terms a Kurukshetra Battle.

He has also started a BC caste census, on the lines of the survey in Bihar, which might also help the government to identify which castes among the BCs needed more welfare and development.

According to reports, YSRC may come up with more pro-BC programmes in the party’s 2024 election manifesto. Already, the CM has offered a majority of the ministries in the AP cabinet to BCs and offered them the posts of Rajya Sabha MPs and MLCs and other nominated posts as also a majority or the organisational positions.

As of now, there are 138 BC castes in AP, of which 21 castes have geographical restrictions. Among 21 of these castes, this status for them differs in North Andhra, coastal and Rayalaseema regions. Some BC castes are confined to a single district.

The recently abolished geographical restrictions would benefit 6 castes from BC-A, 4 from BC-B and 11 from BC-D. The BC-A group consists of the Kurakula, Pondara, Samantula, Pala-Ikari, Ekila, Vyakula, Ekiri, Nayanivaru, Palegaru, Tolagari, Kavali, Asadula and Kevuto/Kevti castes.

The BC-B group includes Achukantlawandlus, Gauda (Eediga, Gamalla), Kalali, Goundla, Settibalija (except Greater Rayalaseema), Kunchiti, Vakkaliga and Gudiya castes.

From the BC-D group, there are Munnurukapu, Polinati Velama, Sadara, Arava, Ayyaraka, Nagaralu, Mudaliar, Beri Vaisya, Athirasa, Kurmi and Kalinga Komati (Kalinga Vaishya) castes.

The decision of the chief minister to consider these 21 castes as BCs across the state and give them benefits accordingly might boost the YSRC party’s support from North Andhra to Krishna district. For instance, the Nagaralu social group is seen in large numbers in Vijayawada and they are influential.

Ministers Venugopala Krishna and Ambati Rambabu claimed that the chief minister was working tirelessly for the welfare and growth of the BCs, treating them as Backbone Classes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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