BJP has successfully been able to add non-Yadav OBC castes such as Kurmi, Kushwaha, Lodh, Jat and some other smaller ones to its votebank since 2014. Before the 2022 polls, the party wants to further consolidate its hold among OBC voters which account for around 40% of the state populace.
A BJP OBC Morcha national executive meeting in New Delhi on July 23 is likely to take up the issue of increasing foothold among OBCs in UP.
“PM has made 27 OBC ministers in his cabinet and that has given confidence to the community. During the national executivemeeting, we will discuss several things including upcoming assembly elections,” K Laxman, BJP OBC Morcha president told ET. “OBC Morcha will play an important role in states going for elections.”UP BJP OBC Morcha president Narendra Kashyap said BJP has been the first choice among the OBCs in UP. “Our strategy this time is to gain further ground among OBCs through organisational reach out highlighting the work done by the BJP governments at the Centre and state,” Kashyap told ET.
Party sources said mostly the focus is on non-Yadav OBCs who form around one-third of the state population. These castes have small numbers but together the size becomes bigger.
The only problem for BJP in UP is Jats, a section of which is upset with the party over the farm laws. Jats constitute 2% of the populace but there are 55 assembly seats where they hold sway.
“There are only a few Jats with the
union. Most of them are with us,” claimed Kashyap.
In 2017 assembly elections, BJP had given tickets to 148 candidates from non-Yadav OBC castes and this yielded dividend for the party.