Parties Reach Out to Caste Associations Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections

Hyderabad: Major political parties are reaching out to various caste associations to garner their support in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress is luring the Backward Classes communities with a promise to conduct BC enumeration and increase reservations proportionate to their population. The BJP is seeking the support of Dalits while assuring the implementation of sub-categorisation. The BRS is publicising the welfare schemes like BC Bandhu and Dalit Bandhu.

It is estimated that that the BC, SC, ST and minorities communities constitute over 85 per cent of the state population. The BC communities encompass five major numerically strong castes —Goud, Mudiraj, Yadav, Munnurkapu, and Padamashali —along with Most Backward Castes (MBCs) like Viswabrahmins, Nayee Brahmin, Rajaka, Kummari and Kamari.

The SCs comprise the Mala, Madiga and other oppressed castes communities, while STs include Lambadas and Adivasis like Gond, Koya and Chenchus.

The Congress, which formed the government in December, focused on holding caste-wise census to determine the population of BC, SC and ST communities in the state. It passed a resolution in the Legislative Assembly on February 16 for taking up a comprehensive door-to-door household (socio, educational, economic, employment, political and caste) survey to plan and implement various socio, economic, educational, employment and political opportunities.

The BC Welfare Association extended support to the Congress for taking a policy decision on holding a caste census. The association also extended support to the Congress for fielding Neelam Madhu, a BC leader from the Mudiraj community, for the first time from Medak Lok Sabha seat.

The Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) has called upon Dalit voters to support the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections since the BJP-led government at the Centre had recently constituted a committee headed by Union Cabinet Secretary for sub-categorisation of Scheduled Castes (SCs) into A, B, C and D groups, to ensure justifiable reservations and other benefits to all the sub-castes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed a public meeting organised by MRPS at the Parade Ground in Secunderabad last November, along with MRPS president Manda Krishna Madiga.

The Madiga Dandora Association has extended support to Congress. On Friday last, about 100 association leaders from combined ten districts met Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and vowed to support Congress in the Lok Sabha elections. They said that they will tour all the districts extensively and garner the support of Madiga community for the Congress in the elections.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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