BJP's 'khichdi' diplomacy to woo Dalits in UP

BJP's 'khichdi' diplomacy to woo Dalits in UP

PTI file photo for representation.

Looking to counter the Samajwadi Party-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, BJP has embarked on a "khichdi" diplomacy to woo "Dalits".

The saffron party organised 'khichdi bhoj' in "Dalit" hamlets in different parts of the state on Tuesday to reach out to the members of the Scheduled Caste and garner their support.

A senior state BJP leader here told DH that the 'khichdi bhoj' program would continue till the last week of this month. "Such feasts will be organised across all the towns in the state," the leader said.

He said the "Dalit" leaders of the party had been entrusted with the responsibility of reaching out to the community members and apprise them of the measures initiated by the Centre and the state governments for their welfare.

"During the program, the party leaders will also try to counter the allegations levelled by the Dalit outfits and the BSP that the BJP is anti-Dalit," he said.

The leader admitted that the incidents of clashes between 'Thakurs' and 'Dalits' in some parts of the state and arrest of the Scheduled Caste outfit Bheem Sena's founder Chandrashekhar during the Yogi Adityanath regime had not gone down well with the community members.

Members of the Scheduled Castes had supported the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 Assembly polls in the state. In the 2014 LS polls, BJP had won all the 17 reserved constituencies.

Similarly, in the 2017 assembly elections also, the saffron party had 76 of the 86 reserved constituencies in the state.

SC analysts say that the situation has changed in the state since 2017. "There have been several incidents of atrocities on the Dalits in the past few years," an analyst said.

The BJP was worried that the BSP might be able to win the support of the SCs in the forthcoming polls after its alliance with the SP, so is keen to make a dent in Mayawati's party's vote bank.

It remains to be seen if "khichdi politics" enables the BJP to reap electoral dividends.