There are murmurs – slight but definite – of the Dalit community dealing a blow to the BJP’s electoral fortunes in Uttar Pradesh next month, and across India in 2024. Already, a possible Jaat-Muslim vote consolidation in Western Uttar Pradesh is a cause of concern for the BJP. Add to it the question of Dalits voting en masse against the BJP – and the saffron party has a big problem at hand. Going by the mood of Dalits on social media, one would easily conclude that the BJP is in for some very big electoral losses in the future. The community seem to have come together against the BJP – on social media at least.
But we all know how social media can be a great deception tool. Certain forces seem to be working overtime to convince Indians that Dalits are switching loyalties from the BJP – formed for a brief period after 2014 – in favour of local political forces. However, that is far from what is happening on the ground. The BJP has worked like no other party for the upliftment of the community. So, it makes no sense for the community to begin voting against the saffron party.
As is the case with every community, there are certain forces among Dalits as well that despise the BJP. These forces are a vocal lot. They tend to convince everyone that the largely silent Dalit voters have made up their minds to teach the BJP a lesson. However, the reality is that a majority of Dalits are silent voters. They are not vocal on social media regarding their political choices and are definitely not represented by the people claiming to be pallbearers of the caste on social media.
Dalits know what the Modi and Yogi governments are doing for them.
In August 2021, for instance, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced that the state government will construct houses for the poor and Dalits on land freed from the clutches of the mafia. Yogi Adityanath has also constantly been reminding Dalits of Uttar Pradesh how the Samajwadi Party’s government seized the land of Dalits and property of the poor.
Earlier this month, while addressing a rally in Rampur, Yogi said, “Rampur’s knife, which was once used for defence, had become a tool in the Samajwadi Party government to seize the land of Dalits and the property of the poor…”
The Yogi government has been tirelessly working for the upliftment of Dalits in Uttar Pradesh. Central government schemes are, for the first time, reaching Dalits in toto and helping them. The Stand-Up India scheme intended to boast SC/ST and Female participation in Commerce has seen much success in UP.
The BJP government of Uttar Pradesh has been ensuring the holistic development of Dalits. They comprise 20 per cent of Uttar Pradesh’s population. Contrary to what is being peddled on social media, members of this community will vote for Yogi Adityanath en masse. Judging the electoral choices of Dalits by gauging their social media activity is something no sane political analyst should do.