The BJP is finding it increasingly tough to strike a balance between the upper castes and the Dalits. The SC/ST bill was nullified by the Supreme Court in March this year.The apex court had banned immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe member and also given the accused person, the right to anticipatory bail.Following this judgement, there was a huge uproar across the nation by Dalit groups and the clamor increased or an ordinance to bypass this judgement of the Supreme Court.
The BJP on the back foot and portrayed as anti-Dalit had to get the ordinance passed in Parliament restoring the original provisions of the SC/ST Act. This has especially angered the primary support base of the BJP: Brahmins, Vaishyas and Kshatriyas, the upper castes of the nation.These communities allege that the SC/ST Act is constantly being misused to put them in trouble, especially in the Hindi heartland.And in Madhya Pradesh, the High Court had given a ruling striking down reservations in promotion.
Out of political compulsion, the BJP-led government also backed the appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court. This has led to the formation of a new political outfit of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas called SAPAK which has said it would contest all 230 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh.These communities which constitute around 10% of the population can seriously dent the BJP’s chances of coming to power.
And this is a similar scenario being played out in various other States like Rajasthan where the upper castes are becoming increasingly miffed with the BJP for the latter’s overtures to the Dalits.So serious is the problem that a meeting of all BJP Chief Ministers was convened in Delhi recently to find a solution to appease the forward castes.This is going to be one hell of a juggling act for the BJP with a BC as the Prime Minister.