WHO will be the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. Whosoever will be selected for the coveted post, one thing is sure: the caste factor will play a vital role. The BJP is caught in the Brahmin-OBC dilemma in Uttar Pradesh. Sources disclosed that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh is influencing BJP President Amit Shah to recommend his name. He is the hero of the Ram Mandir movement. Though Keshav Prasad Maurya is the UP BJP president, he may not be the choice as he does not have any clout in the State. Varun Gandhi, son of Sanjay and Maneka Gandhi, is also trying to woo Shah. The BJP has to take a call whether it desires to test a non-RSS politician in the State. Varun, apart from his youth, does not have much mass following within the BJP and the State. One section within the BJP is also pushing the name of Smriti Irani, but in the caste-ridden state Irani does not have much chance. The strongest candidate is Home Minister Rajnath Singh. He has a complete grip on the State but it is learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not ready to spare his Home Minister. The BJP cannot take chances with the OBCs, who helped it come to power by breaking away from the Congress’ social alliance of Dalits, Brahmins and Muslims in the post-Mandal Commission era. The BJP is unable to decide whether they should project a Thakur as a Chief Minister to woo the upper castes or focus on the OBCs to counter the Samajwadi Party.
VOL. 10, ISSUE 3 | JUNE, 2016