UP polls: Amit Shah asks Nishad community to help BJP win 300-plus seats

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Shah also hit out at the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, claiming their governments in Uttar Pradesh functioned only for a few castes

Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday urged the Nishad community to help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win 300-plus seats in the elections to 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, while promising to fulfil all their “long-pending demands” if re-elected.

Shah also hit out at the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), claiming their governments in Uttar Pradesh functioned only for a few castes while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked for the poor and all backward classes.

“Did they work for the Nishad community or for any other caste under the OBCs? It was only Modiji, who worked for the poor,” the senior BJP leader said at the “Sarkar Banao, Adhikar Pao” rally, which the party held with its alliance partner, the Nishad Party at the Rambai Ambedkar grounds in Lucknow.

Shah also spoke about the Ram temple being built in Ayodhya and the recently inaugurated Kashi Vishwanath Dham.

The Nishads, currently listed among the Other Backward Castes (OBCs), have been demanding inclusion in the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. They account for around 4% of the state’s population and are believed to have some say in deciding the outcomes in around 50 constituencies. The BJP had an alliance with the Nishad Party in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

“Once we form the government again, the BJP will honour all long-pending demands,” Shah told the politically influential riverine community, calling them “Ram bhakt” Nishads.

SP state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary hit back. “The BJP only cheated different communities. It backtracked on caste census. We are forming the next government and within three months of returning to power, the SP government will get caste census done…,” he added.

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