Patna: Worried over rebellion by some leaders belonging to the influential upper castes, the BJP in Bihar, on Friday, doled out the promise of greater representation to “Bhumihars and Brahmins” in the Rajya Sabha and the state legislative council at a later stage.
The party’s national general secretary in-charge of Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav, announced this at a press conference here. Former Union minister C P Thakur, sitting MP from Valmikinagar Satish Chandra Dubey and MLC Sachchidanand Rai were also present at the press meet. Yadav was speaking a day after he, along with the aforementioned leaders, had met BJP national president Amit Shah in New Delhi, who was apprised of the situation in Bihar, where Dubey had expressed his anguish over his seat going to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and declared that he might enter the fray as an Independent.
Similarly, Rai had said that he was unhappy over the inadequate representation of his caste – Bhumihar – among the NDA candidates and declared that he would be fighting from Maharajganj, which is being fought by the BJP but the candidate is sitting MP Janardan Singh Sigriwal, who is a Rajput. Altogether four castes Brahmin, Bhumihar, Rajput and Kayasthas – fall in the ‘Savarna’ group in the highly caste conscious state of Bihar.
Of these, the number of NDA candidates belonging to Brahmin caste is two, Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey from Buxar and Darbhanga nominee Gopalji Thakur. Besides, there are three Bhumihars one each from the BJP, the JD(U) and the LJP Giriraj Singh from Begusarai, Lalan Singh from Munger and Chandan Kumar from Nawada respectively.
The Rajputs have a larger representation with seven candidates belonging to the community while the numerically small Kayasthas are represented by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Patna Sahib. “Amit Shah has assured our colleagues that their anxieties about due representation related to members of Bhumihar and Brahmin castes will be taken care of,” Yadav told reporters as the disgruntled leaders nodded in approval.
“At this stage it is not possible to change candidates but remedial action will be taken in elections to the Rajya Sabha and the legislative council,” he said. The BJP leader also mocked RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s family saying his sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav fancied themselves after Krishna and Arjuna respectively but their squabble over supremacy bore greater similarity to the war between Kauravas and Pandavas.
He also attacked the Congress for having opposed the Narendra Modi government’s bill to grant constitutional status to the OBC Commission and accused the RJD of tacitly siding with the Congress despite its claims of championing social justice. Replying to a query, Yadav denied that the fire-fighting with regard to rebellion by the upper caste leaders was a result of “negative feedback” about the NDA’s performance in the first two phases of general elections wherein nine seats have gone to polls. “We are going to win 40 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar,” Yadav asserted.