Monday, June 08, 2009

LJP move to woo EBCs

PATNA: After its disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the LJP has initiated move to woo the Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs), whose support resulted in the spectacular victory of NDA in Bihar in the Lok Sabha polls.

Former Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and his brother and state party chief Pashupati Kumar Paras held a review meeting in this regard with the office members of the EBC cell of the party and its outfit, the Dalit Sena, on Sunday.

The meeting identified 104 castes belonging to the EBCs and stressed that their social and financial status were similar to Dalits. It also stressed that the party had always fought for the cause of the EBCs and it would launch a fresh struggle for reservation in the judiciary for OBCs and EBCs and ensure that job reservation for them is properly implemented by the state government.

It was decided to hold a meeting of grass-roots workers on the issue later. The meeting decided to dissolve the state unit of the Dalit Sena and run the outfit under the leadership of Paras for the time being.

The party, which fought the LS polls in alliance with the RJD, was hoping to win seats with the RJD's social alliance the Muslim-Yadav (MY) combination and its own support base among a section of Dalits. But the party's strategy backfired as the alliance did not work at the grass-roots level and it failed to win even a single seat.

Paswan is now aiming at expanding his vote base by wooing the EBCs. He has appealed to the Left parties and the Congress to fight the polls together in the next assembly polls. The party is likely to give a call to its workers on June 8 to woo the EBCs. Paswan and Lalu have also announced a joint rally of party workers to establish more co-ordination at the grass-roots level.

However, wooing EBCs would prove to be an uphill task for Paswan as CM Nitish Kumar is leaving no stone unturned to retain the support of the EBCs and the Mahadalits.

After suffering the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, the LJP is already witnessing desertions in the party with its lone MLC in the Bihar Legislative Council Sanjay Singh switching over his loyalty to the JD(U). The exodus is likely to continue making it hard for Paswan to broaden his base in Bihar.

Source : Times of India