Despite the repeated attempts of opposition parties and their cronies in the media to isolate the dalits from the BJP, the Dalit community once again backed PM Modi. According to Indian Express report, Milind Kamble, Chairman of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) appreciated PM Modi’s effort for the upliftment and the development of dalits. He said, “In the tenure of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, maximum work has been done for the development of Dalits. From the formulation of schemes in the interest of the Dalits and their effective implementation, the performance of the Narendra Modi government has been comparatively better than the government of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh”. He also praised PM Modi’s Mudra Scheme. He said, “Through the Mudra scheme, nearly 2.75 crore youngsters in the country belonging to SC/ST have benefitted”. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, work towards the financial inclusion, fund the unfunded, which has benefited the dalits.
The BJP has gained enormous support from the Dalit community mainly because of schemes like these and its work towards social and financial inclusion of dalits. The President of India also belongs from a dalit community, who was appointed by the BJP. Many big dalit leaders like Ramdas Athawale and Ram Vilas Paswan aligned with the BJP because the BJP is dedicated in ameliorating the condition of the dalits in the country. In parliament maximum number of dalits MPs are from the BJP. One of the reasons why the BJP got the landslide victory in 2014 is because of shift of dalit voters in favour of the BJP. Dalits have understood that the BJP is actually serious and dedicated for their development and they are not exploiting them as an electoral vote bank. On the occasion of the 127th birth anniversary of Baba Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a reputed dalit organization awarded CM Yogi with the Dalit Mitra Award and they also said that next time they will be giving the Dalit Mitra award to PM Modi.
Since 2014, the opposition parties along with their cronies in media are desperate to create unrest among the dalits but all their efforts have been wasted as from the past two years dalit support towards BJP has increased. It’s clearly evident by the fact that dalits came out and voted for the BJP in large number in the municipal election in Maharashtra even after the huge orchestrated protest against the Supreme Court’s judgment on SC/ ST Act. It clearly shows that opposition has failed to isolate dalits from the BJP. In the recently concluded Karnataka elections BJP won 31 seats where dalits had a significant influence. BJP gained 22 seats in dalit influenced constituencies, earlier it had won only 9 seats in those constituencies.
In UP by-polls a large chunk of non-Jatav Dalits did not turn up for voting, one of the reasons for this might be that by-poll elections are not taken seriously in our country. But according to leading psephologist agency, 5Forty3, the dalits are as enthusiastic towards Prime Minister Modi’s re-election in 2019 as they had been in 2014 and 2017. According to a Twitter thread posted by the leading agency, there is a dalit movement towards the BJP. The opposition threatened by its fast diminishing vote bank resorted to all kinds of political trickery. They tried using their mainstream media outlets for aggressively building a narrative that the BJP is at loggerheads with the dalits. Every isolated incident of local tussles involving someone from the Dalit community was projected as a nationwide trend of dalit oppression blaming BJP and Prime Minister Modi. Many a times, the “prevalent social unrest” was created out of thin air by the opposition. Their modus operandi was to push and reinforce the ‘BJP versus Dalit’ narrative. However, going by the data collected by 5Forty3, the opposition has failed to make any impact whatsoever. Dalits are strongly in favour of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This trend of dalit support in favour of BJP is unlikely to end in 2019. BJP’s has worked and is still working towards the development of the dalits with the right intention. In front of groundwork done by the BJP, all the fraudulent means employed by the opposition to woo the dalits have failed completely.