Smarting under an alarming shift in their OBC votebank towards BJP in the just-concluded UP polls, the Opposition parties appear relying on the time-tested Mandal politics to checkmate the saffron party.
This was apparent when they disrupted the Rajya Sabha proceedings for its third consecutive sitting on Tuesday, ostensibly over the Centre's "casual approach" towards the statutory bodies meant for overseeing the rights of Dalits, OBCs and Minorities. The Opposition lent alarming emphasis on the government's decision to recast the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The Opposition's alacrity over the issue was visible when UP arch rivals SP and BSP joined ranks while sloganeering and trooping into the Well of the House. They received support from Congress and JDU too.
"The Cabinet has taken a decision to rename the commission for backward classes and intends to nullify the backward castes identified by the Mandal Commission," said SP's Ram Gopal Yadav. BSP's Mayawati, too, charged the government of trying to jeopardise the interests of Dalits, OBCs and Minorities. They cited vacancies in the statutory bodies as an evidence to buttress their claim.