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Bihar Election 2015: BJP goes all out to woo Dalits, mega function for Ambedkar Jayanti among grand plans,Bihar political News, Bihar election, Bihar Assembly Election 2015

Bihar Election 2015: BJP goes all out to woo Dalits, mega function for Ambedkar Jayanti among grand plans

The BJP, which faced a massive drubbing in the Delhi Assembly elections, is treading cautiously ahead of the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls. In an attempt to bring more members of the Dalit community into its fold, the party will launch a mega exercise in the state.

A big event that will be organised by the party in Patna on the day of Ambedkar Jayanti is only a symbolic gesture towards the community. The BJP, according to sources, will also hold other programmes across the country to woo voters from the backward castes.

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Sources said the party as well as the BJP government at the Centre will try to engage the community, which comprises around 15 per cent of the vote bank, through various initiatives throughout the year. The BJP has also requested the government to release postal stamp and coin in the name of the Dalit leader.

As caste equation plays a significant role in Bihar polls, which are only a few months away, the party is preparing to launch its election campaign on the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar on April 14.

BJP president Amit Shah will be in the state for two days, during which he will also hold a public rally. A party leader said by invoking Ambedkar, BJP and Sangh Parivar are trying to reach out to the Dalits in a big way in the state where politics is dominated by the caste issues.

Dushyant Kumar Gautam, president of BJP's SC morcha, said the main purpose of the campaign is to bring Dalits into mainstream. "Our government as well as the party will launch many initiatives for the community in coming days. We are planning to release a book on B.R. Ambedkar's contribution to the nation. Moreover, the party will also request to release postal stamp or coin in the name of the Dalit icon. The Centre's Jan Dhah Yojna has turned out to be a source of major benefit for the community. The government has also made a provision of scholarships to 10 crore students of the community," said Gautam.

As far as the party's event is concerned, representatives of the community will reach Delhi from across the country and meet the party president. Parliament will also hold a function on April 14 to pay tribute to the Dalit icon.

"The BJP will organise events on Ambedkar throughout the year at many places in the country. There will be public meetings, nukkad natak and films depicting the contribution of Ambedkar," said a party leader.

Party's mentor RSS has also embarked on a major social outreach with upcoming Assembly elections in sight. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has already given a call to Hindus to unite, overcoming caste barriers. Thereafter, the BJP appointed a Dalit member as a general secretary in its recent organisational reshuffle.

Uttar Pradesh MP Ramshankar Katheria was given the post of BJP general secretary, which can be seen as yet another effort by the Sangh to consolidate Hindu votes. Katheria has had close links with RSS. By doing so, the BJP is trying to send the right message across the states which have considerable Dalit population.

Party leaders claimed the experiment was successful politically during the Lok Sabha polls in UP. Post-Muzaffarnagar-riots, a large section of Dalits voted for the party, which helped it win over 70 seats in the state.

Ahead of the Bihar polls, which are scheduled in October-November, the BJP is banking on Ram Vilas Paswan, who is capable of fetching the Dalit votes. The party is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure victory in the state polls. The BJP, according to sources, is keen to restart its victory march that was halted in Delhi and is working on its strategy much in advance. Apart from Paswan, the BJP also expects to get the backing of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, a Mahadalit, in his fight against Nitish Kumar. "The party is keeping all options open. There are talks of possible alliance with Manjhi after it extended support to him as CM. Things will emerge in the coming days. The party has also not made up its mind yet on whether to project a CM candidate or not," said a top party leader.

Lalu rhetoric

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president and former chief minister Lalu Prasad has kicked up a controversy by saying that the Nitish Kumar government in the state has been running because of his party's support.

Addressing a rally in East Champaran district, Lalu said he had been 'pushing' the Nitish government so that the BJP could be stopped in its march in Bihar. "We are pushing the Nitish government here… Our next job is to demolish the BJP in Delhi."

Lalu went on to say no government would, in fact, survive without his support.

"The people were misled by the false promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Lok Sabha election campaign," he said. "This will not happen twice. We will all make him bite the dust the next time," Lalu added.

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