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JDU, RJD take own routes to revive support among SCs

Amid all the noise over the recently published caste survey report, the RJD and JDU — both part of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ which accommodates the Congress and Left parties in Bihar — are separately trying to reach out to scheduled caste (SC) voters before the 2024 LS polls.

While the RJD is trying to ensure that the SCs vote for their party candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, the JDU wants to revive its support base among the SC voters, particularly among the Maha Dalits. The JDU’s main concern is the alleged resentment among the SCs against the state government over the liquor law.

The BJP has always highlighted that a good number of SCs, apart from other backward castes (OBCs) and most backward castes (MBCs), are languishing in jails because of the liquor law. Chirag Paswan, who heads one faction of the Lok Janshakti Party, and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, have already returned to the NDA camp. Chirag never leaves any opportunity to attack CM Nitish Kumar.

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On October 10, Kumar flagged off Bhim Sansad Raths at a function organized at his official residence in Patna.

“Before November 5, the raths will cover all the 38 districts of the state. The JDU will organize a ‘Bhim Sansad’ program at the Veterinary College grounds on November 5,” JDU spokesperson Anjum Ara told ET. The party started “Bhim Samvad” in the first phase of its campaign. The movement of ‘Bhim Sansad Raths’ across the state is the second phase of the party’s program for wooing SC voters. In the third phase, a “Bhim Sansad” program will be held on November 5.

The JDU has worked out its own strategy to woo SC voters across the state with the help of the Nitish Kumar government’s pro-SC schemes launched in the past.

“Our support base among SC voters is intact. Our workers remain in constant touch with the SC voters,” JDU MLC Neeraj Kumar said.

Meanwhile, the RJD has launched its program “Ambedkar Parischarcha” at the panchayat level and this program ended in September. “We had engaged all our senior leaders, including all the MLAs, for the success of this program. We reminded the scheduled castes that it was our party founder Lalu Prasad who had started personally visiting their areas and interacted with them during his tenure as CM of the state,” former minister and RJD leader Shivchander Ram, who coordinated this program, said.

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