OBCs and the absent opposition
The Opposition can’t compete just because of leadership issues, they have ignored vast segments of voters
This is how India’s voting population is Distributed (Estimated)
- Minorities: 20%
- SC/ST: 25%
- OBC: 40%
- Upper Castes: 15%
What is the gap between NDA and UPA on each of these voting blocks? (Estimated)
- Minorities: (-41%), UPA ahead
- SCs: +13%
- STs: +19%
- OBCs: +40%
- Upper: +44%
If you combine the previous two data sets, just OBCs contribute to 13–15% of the gap between NDA and UPA. The overall gap was 19%. That is close to 75% of the gap between UPA and NDA.
Except for Karnataka, NDA overwhelms UPA amongst OBCs in every state where the two alliances compete directly. In Karnataka, the gap is ‘relatively lower’ at 25%.
The most astounding data comes from Telangana where the BJP won 4 seats in 2019, not much by North standards. But, here too BJP notched up 23% of the OBC vote, just shy of the Congress party. This will increase significantly in 2024.
Lower OBCs (75% of OBCs) have been excluded outside the national mainstream in more ways than one and through Narendra Modi and BJP, they feel empowered and represented. Why do we attribute this to Modi? See this
Change in gap between NDA, 2019 vs 2009
- Forward Caste +33%
- OBCs +40%
Two trends occurred — Half of the Upper caste and OBC votes from UPA shifted to NDA, and ‘Others’ votes particularly of Lower OBCs moved en masse to the NDA.
The problem for the Opposition is not the current leadership alone but the fact, that they do not have a single lower OBC leader of national standing to compete with Narendra Modi. They can’t beat BJP with the current leadership, it has to be a lower OBC.