Jalandhar: Despite being the home state of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ideologue and iconic Dalit leader Babu Kanshi Ram, Punjab has always remained a paradox for the party. In fact, the BSP’s performance in this poll-bound state has seen a decline in the last 20 years.

The condition is gloomier as despite having the highest scheduled caste population of (30 percent), the electoral victory of the party seems to be sealed here as compared to Uttar Pradesh where Dalit power propelled the party to power.

The most obvious reason behind the poor picture is the uneven distribution of the Dalits and other SC communities in the state. As compared to UP, the political, economical and social condition of Dalits and other weaker sections is relatively better in Punjab. 

Moreover, being an economically and socially sound state, the Dalits in Punjab enjoy a relatively better status than any other states across the country. Apart from this, the 75 percent literacy rate in Punjab also downplays the prospects of electoral gains for the BSP on the basis of caste and religion.

The political history of the BSP in Punjab clearly signifies that the distribution of votes of the 37 communities of Dalits has seen continuous change in every election.

Besides this, Punjab’s crucial Sikh and Arya Samaj factors also overrule the winning prospects of the BSP in the state. The crucial vote share for the BSP from Doaba region is also on a downswing in Punjab. This is one of the most vital factors responsible for the setback of the BSP in the state.

Highlights

Dalit population in Punjab- 30 percent

Dalit population in Doaba region- 35 percent

Dalit population residing in Punjab rural areas- 75.7 percent

(JPN/ Bureau)