BJP’s BC CM, Madiga card, a long time strategy

PM Modi at MBNR

Rama Krishna Sangem

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated  recently two key meetings of BJP in Hyderabad – one where he announced Telangana will get a CM from backward classes (BCs) and another where he promised to set up a commission to pave way for categorization of Scheduled Castes (SCs). This categorization of SCs is a nearly three decades old demand of Madgias, a major sub-caste of SC in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Interestingly, Modi personally showed intrest in these two meetings, in the name of furthering social justice, in Telangana assembly elections. BJP find its hard to create a space for itself in Telangana, as two major rivals, ruling BRS and main opposition Congress have solid support of certain communities. BJP which banked on Hindutwa vote is still a new comer in this caste composition of Telangana.

PM Modi obliged Manda Krishna Madiga, who founded MRPS (Madia Reservation Porata Samithi) in around 1994-95 to attend a massive rally in Secunderabad on October 11. True, that meeting was well attended and Modi won the support of Krishna and others. But, there is no guarantee that the meeting will bring votes to BJP. Krishna himself is not a vote catcher. He lost a couple of electoral battles from where Madigas are in large numbers.

PM Modi’s promise of constituting yet another commission, in fact, disappointed many Madigas. They have been fighting  a marathon battle with Malas, dominant and advanced sub-caste of SCs. Educationally,  economically and politically, Malas are in a strong position, compared to Madigas. Malas oppose SC’s categorization on the ground that it would divided the Dalits, most oppressed  community in India.

Will Modi or BJP bite the bullet  and go for SC categorization? It is Malas pressure that has prevented Congress and all other parties all these years from categorization of SCs. Then Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP government has issued GOs (Government Orders) too. But the decision was struck down by the courts. Now the matter is pending before SC.  It is to be seen, if PM Modi can ensure that Madigas get justice anytime soon.


Not for immediate gains

Sources in BJP say that this issue is not fetch any immediate gains to the party. As Malas are well behind Congress, all over the country, or at least in South India, BJP wants to create a solid constituency among SCs, in Madigas. This effort has begun long ago, maybe since 3-5 years. Just as BJP wants to woo Pasmandas of Muslims, the party will also try to win the hearts of  Madigas. Pasmandas are lower social strata of Muslims. In Persian, Pasmanda means left behind.

Similarly, BC CM card of BJP too is unlikely to fetch any immediate political dividends. When the party is not in a position to win not more than 10-15 MLAs, out of the total 119, there’s no question of BJP having its own CM, leave alone BC or someone else. Political analysts see this more as an empty promise, without consequences. Modi and others in the BJP feel that these two segments – BCs and Madigas – will be an asset to the in the long run. 


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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