Caste System in India Part 5| Congress is using caste card in the name of saving the constitution| Teh Tak

Some events indicated the Congress’s inclination towards caste-based politics, which was beyond the practices of previous prime ministers and leaders in the party. In the din of the Lok Sabha elections, both the major political parties, Congress and BJP, are now making their claims to woo voters. Congress was not expected to be in the best of form before the elections. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was somehow hoping for a repeat of 2004 history. He believed that the NDA’s fate would be the same as in 2004 when the slogan was ‘India Shining’, yet the confident NDA lost the elections. This time the slogan of 400 plus BJP government seemed to be crossing. However, when the results came on June 4, the BJP lost the majority in the Lok Sabha after a decade. Currently, it is the largest party in the Lok Sabha and is running the government with the help of the mandate given to the NDA. But its plank of winning more than 400 seats failed miserably.

Why did BJP’s numbers decrease in reserved seats?

The BJP’s number of reserved seats fell to 55 from the previous 77 due to its focus on social justice and reservation during the last two months of the Lok Sabha campaign. A total of 131 constituencies in the country are reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The BJP lost 19 SC seats it held in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab and West Bengal. In addition, it also lost 10 ST seats in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The Congress snatched 12 of these SC seats and seven ST seats from the BJP. Other parties also contributed to the BJP’s loss on reserved seats. The Samajwadi Party (SP) took five SC seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won in Cooch Behar, the Bharat Adivasi Party secured Banswara; the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) won in Dumka and the Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Pawar (NCP-SP) took Dindori. Significant defeats for the BJP include Khunti in Jharkhand, where Congress candidate Kali Charan Munda defeated former CM and Union tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda by nearly 1.5 lakh votes; Banswara in Rajasthan, where the Bharat Adivasi Party won by nearly 2.5 lakh votes; and Chamarajanagar in Karnataka, where the BJP lost to the Congress by over 1.88 lakh votes. The BJP had increased its number of reserved seats from 71 in the 2019 elections to 77. The Congress, which had won only seven such seats in 2019, has increased its count to 32 reserved constituencies in 2024, including 19 seats it wrested from the BJP.

Save the constitution and cross 400 slogan

Experts suggested that the BJP’s “400 plus” rhetoric may have led to such losses in reserved seats across the country. They opined that the BJP’s decline in reserved constituencies in the north and its fragmented mandate in reserved seats in the south were influenced by a combination of strategic missteps, effective opposition messaging and socio-political dynamics unique to different regions of India. The India Bloc’s perception that a government with an overwhelming BJP majority was a threat to the Constitution resonated with voters. Concerns reverberated in Dalit settlements about possible changes to the law enacted by Baba Saheb (BR Ambedkar) and the security threats it contained for them. These fears, fuelled by statements from the BJP itself, prompted voters to be vigilant and determined to protect the Constitution. This played a significant role in the election result. The common voter felt that his existence would be threatened if the Constitution was changed. Dalits in particular felt that they would lose their source of empowerment. It must be remembered that the Constitution is usually a subject of discussion among the elite, but it is also a symbol of empowerment for the majority Dalit-Bahujan population of this country.

RSS on caste system

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat supported the continuation of reservation for SC, ST and OBC during a program recently. During an address in 2023, he said that as long as there is discrimination in the society, reservation should also continue. The people of the Sangh support the reservation as per the Constitution. Regarding the caste system, the RSS chief also clarified that God has always said that for me everyone is the same. There is no caste, Varna among them. But the Pandits created categories, that was wrong. The conscience, consciousness of all is the same in the country. There is no difference in it. Only opinions are different. We did not try to change the religion. If it changes, then leave the religion.

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