BJP plays backward caste card to counter 'Mandal' politics

In order to woo the Dalits, Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled out any 'sawarna' (upper caste) person becoming the Chief Minister if the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won two-thirds majority in the state polls.

With 'caste' factor, re-entrenched by recommendations of reservations by the the Mandal Commission, again dominating the campaigning for Bihar polls, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that the next Bihar Chief Minister would be either from the Dalits, OBCs or EBCs and not an upper caste.

"An upper caste cannot become the Chief Minister of Bihar; it is certain that if the BJP-led NDA comes to power, the next Chief Minister will be either from the OBCs or EBCs," the Union Minister - who belongs to the powerful and landed Bhumihar upper caste with a strong presence in the state politics - told the media here.

The BJP leader played this 'backward caste Chief Minister card' two days after RJD chief Lalu Prasad cited that the Bihar Assembly polls were a fight between the backward and forward castes.