Upper caste outfit enters poll arena in MP

Upper caste outfit enters poll arena in MP

An upper caste outfit, which has been spearheading an aggressive agitation against the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act in Madhya Pradesh for the last one month, on Tuesday launched itself as a political party.

The new party, named as Sapaks (Samanya, Alpsankhyak, Pichhapa Varg Adhikari/Karmachari Sanghthan) Samaj Party (SSP), will contest in all the 230 seats in the forthcoming state Assembly election.

Its creation has upset political arithmetic in the state, with the BJP being more rattled than the Congress.

SSP is banking on 15% upper caste votes— who are considered to be the BJP's traditional voters, although the saffron party has made significant inroads into the Dalit vote banks too— in the state.

Of the 230 sets, 148 are general, 35 are reserved for SCs and 47 for the STs.

At a press conference on Tuesday, party president Hiralal Trivedi announced SSP's formation and also unveiled the party's flag and introduced its four vice presidents, among them are an IAS officer Dr Veena Ghanekar and BJP-defector Rajiv Khandelwal.

On Sunday, the outfit displayed a massive show of strength at a rally.

Trivedi, a retired IAS officer, said that the new party would contest the election primarily opposing the SC/ST act and reservation in promotions to government employees.

These two issues have immensely helped the outfit to galvanise upper caste youths across the state.

The agitation against the SC/ST act  has spawned 50 caste-based organisations, who had jointly called for a Bharat bandh on September 7 which was quite successful.

Since then the Sapaks has been giving sleepless nights to the BJP, which is already reeling under the effect of an anti-incumbency factor in the state.