So far, Income Tax raids have unearthed nearly Rs 300 crore cash from Sahu's premises.
As India gears up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the country is witnessing a resurgence of caste politics. The release of the Bihar caste survey has added fuel to this fire, with opposition parties seizing the opportunity to play the caste card. The opposition’s revival of caste politics, often criticised as regressive, is not merely an attempt to perpetuate social divisions. Instead, it is a calculated ploy aimed at dividing the Hindu vote bank of the Bharatiya Janata Party and garnering support from specific castes, particularly the backward castes. Caste-based politics has a long history in India.
It has played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s political landscape for decades. However, in recent years, there seemed to be a shift towards more development-oriented politics, with the BJP successfully positioning itself as a party that transcended traditional caste divisions. This shift was particularly evident in the 2014 and 2019 general elections when the BJP secured a decisive mandate. Now, with the opposition’s renewed focus on caste politics, questions arise about the motives behind this tactical move. Is it genuinely about addressing the concerns of marginalised communities, or is it a strategic manoeuvre to regain political power?
It is true that social justice and empowerment programmes are essential for addressing historical inequalities in India. The Bihar caste survey data reveals significant disparities in the distribution of resources and opportunities. But it is the timing of this revival that raises suspicions ~ clearly discernible is the effort to consolidate backward castes and create a formidable voting bloc ahead of the 2024 elections. It’s a strategic manoeuvre to dilute the BJP’s hold on the majority vote bank and erode its electoral dominance. In this political chess game, the opposition is using caste identities as pieces to weaken the BJP’s position. Furthermore, the revival of caste politics could impact the BJP’s narrative of unity. The BJP has consistently advocated for a ‘one-nation, one-people’ approach, emphasising unity over divisions. However, the caste survey data chal- lenges this narrative by highlighting the substantial presence of OBCs, SCs, and STs in Bihar’s population. The data, while of only one state, may force the BJP to re-evaluate its national strategy and approach to reservations. With disparities in resource allocation becoming evident, it will be difficult for the BJP to justify maintaining the status quo. The opposition knows this and is capitalising on it.
Moreover, the BJP’s support among OBCs has been steadily growing, making it a crucial voter base for the party. The opposition’s move to consolidate OBCs, particularly non-dominant ones, threatens the BJP’s electoral prospects. While the concerns of marginalised communities must be addressed, it is crucial to remain vigilant and recognise the political motives behind this re- vival. Voters must compel political parties to prioritise development and inclusivity over divisive tactics.