At mega meet, BJP tries to woo Yadavs, Bihar's most populous caste

At mega meet, BJP tries to woo Yadavs, Bihar's most populous caste

Patna, Nov 14 (PTI) The opposition BJP in Bihar on Tuesday organised a huge function aimed at wooing Yadavs, the state’s most populous caste, who have been steadfast in their support to the ruling RJD.

The 'Yaduvanshi Milan Samaroh' was held at the Bapu Sabhagar auditorium in the city, on the occasion of Govardhan Puja, a festival associated with Lord Krishna whose descendants the Yadavs believe themselves to be.

Attendees to the function acknowledged Nityanand Rai, Union minister of state for Home and a former state BJP president, as the 'inspiration' behind the event, which was well received on social media as 'Yadav with Modi' trended on X for several hours.

In his speech, Rai slammed RJD president Lalu Prasad claiming that he failed to improve the condition of Yadavs despite having ruled Bihar for a long, and cited the recently released report of the caste survey which had stated that less than 2 per cent of the OBC group's total population was in government jobs.

Notably, the survey also stated that Yadavs, comprising 14 per cent of the total population, are the single largest caste in Bihar though the finding has often been contested by those in the BJP which counts on the upper castes as its core support base.

Moreover, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, widely regarded as the BJP’s principal strategist, alleged at a rally earlier this month that numbers of Yadavs and Muslims, both said to be die-hard RJD supporters, were 'inflated', an observation that is understood to have ruffled many feathers ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

However, Rai attempted damage control in his speech, highlighting that the BJP 'has the most number of Yadav MPs and MLAs across the country', and blamed Prasad and his RJD for making the martial community 'synonymous with lawlessness'.

The BJP leader lambasted Prasad for not entrusting 'any Yadav leader within his own party' with the CM's post when the RJD supremo stepped down, faced with imminent arrest in fodder scam cases, and was succeeded by wife Rabri Devi.

Rejecting the charge of political vendetta levelled against the BJP, Rai pointed out that Prasad's old ally Congress was ruling the Centre when he was first convicted and when the first charge sheet was filed, way back in 1997, 'the prime minister was HD Deve Gowda, whose candidature he had backed to thwart the prospects of (Samajwadi Party supremo) Mulayam Singh Yadav'.

Training his guns at Prasad's younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, currently the Deputy CM of Bihar, Rai chided the young leader for not raising an objection when CM Nitish Kumar made crude remarks about women inside the assembly last week.

'The shameful episode was akin to undressing in public (cheer haran) of Draupadi who was saved by the divine intervention of Krishna. Tejashwi failed to live up to the legacy by not telling Nitish upfront that it was highly improper. The government in the state reminds us of Dushasana who had tried to disrobe Draupadi,' alleged the former Bihar BJP chief, invoking Mahabharata imagery.

Rai also said that the current regime in Bihar was 'setting up abattoirs' and the BJP, after 'winning all 40 Lok Sabha seats next year and forming its own government in the state in 2025' will ensure a strict ban on slaughter of cattle in the state. PTI NAC SOM

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