New Delhi: Nitish Kumar`s Bihar formula of social engineering seems to have caught up the Congress` imagination in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, where Rahul Gandhi is leading the campaign to revive fortunes of the party.
The party is not only promising sub-quota for Most
Backward Classes (MBC) in government jobs, educational
institutions and Panchayats in UP but also special focus on
"Ati-Dalits" (extremely deprived) and exploring a sub-quota
Sources in the party said the list of Congress candidates
this time is an ideal mix of all castes in which the MBCs and
Ati Dalits have got "liberal representation".
In Bihar, Nitish Kumar rode to power by denting the OBC
vote bank of Lalu Prasad and Dalit vote bank of Ram Vilas
Paswan by separating the Extremely Backward Castes from the
OBC category and driving out Mahadalits, a group of 20 odd
castes from the Dalits or the Scheduled Castes.
The new social engineering by Nitish Kumar virtually
reduced the support base of Lalu Prasad and Ramvilas Paswan to
the dominant OBC caste Yadav and the aggresive Dalit caste
Paswan bringing a large number small sub castes from OBCs and
Dalits under the umbrella of JD-U.
Kumar government had also constituted separate
commissions to suggest measures to improve the lot of these
"left out" castes not enjoying the benefits of reservation.
In Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, an OBC leader has
his sway among the Yadavs while Mayawati`s core constituency
is Jatavs among the Dalits.
Although, Congress has also not given up efforts to woo
the two castes (Yadavs and Jatavs), it is going extra mile to
make inroads into the smaller groups among OBCs and Dalits.