Aside from other factors, the BJP’s resounding victories in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections were made possible by considerable gains among voters from Other Backward Castes (OBCs). The BJP did manage to mobilise a sizable number of Dalits and Advasis, in addition to solidifying its hold on its traditional supporters, the upper castes and upper classes. Despite the fact that a caste-based census appears to be an unified demand of the opposition parties, the BJP-led national government is hesitant.
OBC support for BJP
The Mandal Commission report, which granted OBCs 27 percent reservation in central government positions and educational institutions, was implemented by the V P Singh government in the early 1990s, changing the structure of electoral politics in India, particularly in the states of North India. Post-Mandal politics have led to the emergence of a large number of very powerful regional parties, especially in states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The BJP had to fight hard and it took many years to use Hindu politics to fight the Mandal policy, which was generally called “Kamandal policy” in the late 1990s. The BJP worked hard under the leadership of LK. Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee and won the Lok Sabha elections in 1998 and 1999. Although the People’s Party and coalition parties formed the government of the NDA, the regional parties are still very strong, obtaining 35.5% and the 33.9% of the votes in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Even when the Congress-led UPA formed the government in 2004 and 2009, the regional parties obtained a total of 39.3% and 33.9% of the vote. 37.3%. Even if the Popular Party obtained its majority with 31% of the votes in the 2014 LokSabha elections, the regional parties also obtained 39% of the votes.
During the election of the LokSabha in 2019 alone, the BJP made huge gains among OBC voters, weakening the central support of regional parties, and its share of votes dropped to 26.4%. Evidence from a series of polls conducted by Lokniti-CSDs shows that BJP has made great progress among OBC voters in the past decade. In the 2009 LokSabha election, 22% of OBCs voted for the BJP, while 42% voted for the regional political parties. But over the past ten years, the BJP’s support base in the OBC seems to have undergone tremendous changes. During the 2019 LokSabha election, 44% of OBCs voted for BJP, while only 27% voted for regional political parties.
Lok Sabha vs Assembly
But there is a problem. BJP is a popular choice for OBC voters, mainly during the Lok Sabha elections, but it is not popular among OBC voters when electing the state government. During the 2019 LokSabha election, only 11% of OBCs in Bihar voted for RJD, but during the 2020 Assembly election, 29% of OBCs voted in favor. In UP, only 14% of OBCs voted for the Samajwadi party in 2019, but during the 2017 parliamentary elections, 29% of OBCs voted for it, despite his losing streak. We found that between Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections, OBCs in several other states have similar differences in voting options.
Furthermore, the BJP was more successful in mobilizing lower OBC votes than the dominant OBC in many northern Indian states. Therefore, although the BJP has obtained political benefits by advancing in OBC, their support base in OBC does not appear to be as strong as in the upper castes and upper classes, they voted in large numbers without considering anyone. The electoral performance of the Popular Party. During the 2019 LokSabha elections, 41% of the people in the upper OBC voted for BJP, while 47% of the people in the lower OBC voted for BJP.
Compared to the lower OBC, regional parties are still more popular in the upper OBC. The Yadav of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the main castes of the OBC. They voted in large numbers for the Samajwadi Party and the RJD, and the BJP has managed to successfully mobilize the lower castes of the OBC in these states.
The reason why the BJP seems to be reluctant to conduct a caste census may be that it is worried that the possible numbers of different castes, especially OBC castes, may bring new problems to regional parties and force the ruling party to reform the OBC. Work quotas for the central government and educational institutions. This may lead to the Mandal II situation and bring new vitality to many regional political parties who are otherwise struggling to find a positive agenda to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has dominated India’s electoral politics in the past decade.
It seems that some people are worried that OBC characters will open Pandora’s Box, which may be very difficult to deal with.