Why this Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election was made for an SP-BSP alliance

The upper-caste, brahmanical ideology of the RSS that informs the BJP does not allow the party to provide substantial benefits to the OBC-Dalits, and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is diligently trying to make this election a contest between the OBC-Dalits and the BJP’s upper-caste domination. But would this prove to be a tall order for the SP without the BSP’s backing? asks Rupesh Ranjan

The question of caste and the discrimination it entails has always been an electoral challenge for the Sangh Parivar and its political outfit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since its formation in 1980 and even in its earlier avatar as Bharatiya Jana Sangh, it has been the upper castes which have constituted the core base of the party. Both the Jana Sangh and the BJP had avoided the caste question, considering it as the biggest hurdle in their attempt to present a unified Hindu political majority. However, the implementation of the Mandal Commission report by the Vishwanath Pratap Singh-led National Front government in 1990 forced the BJP to engage with the caste question, especially the growing demands for political representation coming from OBCs, hitherto considered irrelevant in north Indian politics despite constituting the largest chunk of the population.

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