Upper castes 'dominate' polity in Himachal

Upper castes 'dominate' polity in Himachal

Upper castes 'dominate' polity in Himachal

Regional divide and factors surrounding castes are playing a crucial role in the polity of Himachal Pradesh. The hill state is dominated by the upper caste, with over 50% of the people belonging to this community. Of these, nearly 33% are Rajputs and 18% Brahmins.

The Scheduled Castes also have a strong representation in Himachal Pradesh. The state has over 25% SC population.

Political parties have factored in the caste element before announcing their official nominees. In the 68-member Assembly, as many as 20 are reserved seats - 17  for SCs and three for Scheduled Tribes.

Reign of the Rajputs  

The Rajput community arguable has had a prominent say in the political narrative of  the state.  Of the five chief ministers, four were Rajputs.  

The first chief minister, Yashwant Singh Parmar, was a Rajput and ruled for four consecutive terms. Virbhadra Singh, too, belongs to the upper caste Rajput community. The BJP's chief ministerial  face, Prem Kumar Dhumal, belongs to the same community.

BJP strongman Shanta Kumar is a Brahmin and was elected chief minister  twice.

The  largest district of Kangra has a large presence of Other Backward Classes. A majority of the state's OBC population resides in Kangra.