In a bid to take control over the levers of power in Uttar Pradesh, major stake holders are making concerted efforts to woo the backward class voters. Even before the battle lines were drawn for the state Assembly polls, all the contending parties charted out their strategies focused on voters from backward castes which are getting prominence in the poll plans of the parties as they comprise 58 percent of the total population in the state.

Given the importance of the backward votes, the Congress has announced sub-quota for most backward castes within the quota for OBCs. The grand old party is quite aware of the fact that without mobilizing a major part of the backward community in its favour, the dream its Mission 2012 can’t be realised.

Some specific castes counted in OBC groups like Yadav and Kurmi are considered to be the back bone of the Samajwadi Party (SP). On the other hand, Brahmins, Thakurs and non Yadav backward castes are trump cards for the BJP.

It can be gauged from the fact that a large number of tickets have been allotted to candidates hailing from the  backward castes-BJP has fielded 126 backward candidates, SP-125, BSP- 113 and Congress-110.

The Congress had ruled the state for over four decades with support of Brahmins, Muslims and Dalits. In a bid to reclaim power in the state, the Congress has fielded sizable number of candidates from backward classes.

Meanwhile, the BSP, depending on its most trusted formula of social engineering, is also banking upon most backward castes. It is due to this reason; the BSP’s poll campaign is especially focused on wooing backwards in its fold.

In a bid to attract backwards in its fold, recently the BJP has strongly opposed the Union Minister Salman Khurshid’s announcement for a 4.5 percent sub-quota for minorities within the 27 percent quota for OBCs. The party is apparently against any kind of dent in quota meant for backward classes. On the other hand, the BSP has made it clear in its manifesto that the party will not support sub-categorization of the OBC quota. The SP, on the other hand has declared that the 17 most backward castes would be included in the Scheduled Caste section if the party is voted to power in the state.