New Delhi, July 10: Retaining those seats that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh is a herculean task for the party but the BJP is trying every bit for it as formation of the government at the Centre largely depends upon the success of the party in the state. In one such exercise, the BJP is planning to induct the third deputy chief minister in Uttar Pradesh from the Dalit community before elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are announced.
Cabinet expansion in the state is on cards and has already been discussed by the state leadership and the Central leadership. During the UP cabinet expansion, a Dalit deputy CM may also take oath of the office. Sources said that Uttar Pradesh has always been important not only in terms of seats but also in terms of Dalit politics in the state. Things become little more difficult when the party has an opponent as a four-time Dalit CM leading the Bahujan Samaj Party in the state against the BJP.
Sources said that the party will elect a deputy CM from the elected MLAs in the present Assembly. Some new faces will also inducted in the cabinet and a few may even be dropped. With the induction of a Dalit deputy CM the caste equation in the government will be balanced by having a Rajput CM, Brahmin and OBC Dy CMs and another Dy CM as Dalit preferably from the lesser known community with the bigger reach.
Sources further said that the BJP leadership has been constantly involved in the social engineering and this was the reason that Ram Nath Kovind has been appointed as the President and he will have an impact on UP but he will have bigger impact at All India level.
All these decisions are important as a state with approximately 22 per cent Dalit population that has been voting en-mass to the BSP on the call of BSP chief Mayawati but this trend was broken in 2014 when the BSP failed to get even a single seat in the Lok Sabha and in 2017 Assembly elections it fared miserably bad. With Mahagathbandhan being talk of the town, the BJP will also try to play its game. Sources said that BJP is working on it and it might get announced at any time.
The BJP is also trying hard to woo non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits to its fold in view of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party joining hands for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections against Modi.