As BJP tries to woo backwards, RSS tells voters to shun caste-based politics

For voters in five states, including UP and Punjab that go to polls starting February 4, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has a message. The BJP mentor wants electors to pick their representatives based on merit and “not caste”.

The statement assumes significance as the BJP has been making concerted efforts to woo the so-called lower castes, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, the two states that have a high percentage of voters from these social groups.

On Sunday, RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal lashed out at caste-based political parties for perpetrating casteism in the country and using caste as a means to consolidate personal gains.

Without naming parties such as the BSP and the RJD that represent a political system based on caste cleavages, the RSS senior functionary said voting on the basis of one’s social group is “not good for a healthy democracy”.

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