Accusing Congress of resorting to caste politics in recently concluded assembly elections at Gujarat, the BJP itself seems to have learned lesson of the same. Ahead of by-elections scheduled at Rajasthan BJP has begun to strengthen its caste cadre and focus on the new voters at the state. Party’s organisation secretary, P Chandrashekhar on Thursday took a session at party state headquarters at Jaipur on its proposed ‘Nav- Matdata Abhiyan’ aimed to increase association of young voters.A day earlier Chandrashekhar along with party state president Ashok Parnami has held a session of the Dalit public representatives of the party. The party at Rajasthan has divided its legislators into caste base categories and tends to assign them a responsibility to ensure support from their respective community. “The meeting of Dalit MLA’s was first in the sequence, we will be soon holding similar meetings of public representatives of other castes,” BJP state president Ashok Parnami briefed on the party plans. BJP at Gujarat was unable to keep intact the ‘Hindu’ votes as several caste swung towards Congress, it also suffered a decline in the share of young voters below 25 years of age. Thus as the responsibility of caste votes is handed over to MLAs of the respective caste, the task to associate young voters has been assigned to the party’s youth wing, Yuva Morcha. On Thursday, BJP’s state organising secretary Chandrashekhar attended a workshop of the Yuva Morcha along with state general secretary Bhajanlal Sharma and state Yuva Morcha president Ashok Saini. Here the participants were briefed on the campaign by a trainer from Delhi. “The nav-metadata program is being launched on instructions of the central leadership and will cover all universities and colleges of the state,” said Bhajanalal Sharma. It is, however, the backward caste votes that remain a major concern for the party. Vote bank Dalits are estimated around 20% of total voters were traditionally Congress supporters but switched sides in the last y elections. Ajmer and Alwar where by-elections where dalit voters hold the key, which is why BJP has given prominence place to their leaders in party like Kalisah Meghwal.
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