Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Caste Conundrum For The Opposition As It Goes Into The 2024 General Election

The Bihar caste census data probably holds the answer for the Opposition to challenge the BJP’s social engineering that has made the party under Modi a most formidable election machine
January 6, 2024
The Bihar caste census data has opened a Pandora's box that can upset the existing caste-based alliances of the ruling BJP. Photo: Shrey Shekhar | Pixabay

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections are poised at a decisive threshold. On the one hand, the BJP, defying most forecasts, has romped home with emphatic wins in the three important states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. On the other, the Congress has strengthened its position in the South by winning Telangana. The Congress’s loss in the three big states with less than six months to go for the 2024 general election has dealt a symbolic blow to the Opposition’s electoral arithmetic based on the demand for a pan-India caste census to garner the support of the overwhelming Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and other marginalised communities.

In all three states, the Congress promised to carry out a caste census if voted to power. But the results seem to indicate that its pitch didn’t find much traction with the electorate despite a significant portion of the population comprising Dalits, Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs). The Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey of the four states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana—presents some hard facts to the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in general, and to the Congress in particular, to have a relook at its dependency on the demand for a caste census.

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Manan Kumar

Over the past three decades, he has worked with India’s leading publications such as The Pioneer, Indian Express, Hindustan Times, and DNA, to name a few. His has reported extensively on India’s internal security, development issues and politics.