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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on overdrive to secure Dalit votebank


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PATNA: The ruling JD-U is fine-tuning its strategy to woo Dalit voters forming around 16% of the electorate in poll-bound Bihar, where turnout by 22 Scheduled Caste communities can able to influence the outcome in all the 243 Assembly constituencies. 

The Nitish Kumar government has already decided to provide government jobs to family members of Dalits killed in the state. The JD-U will now task four influential community leaders to visit the Dalit-dominated areas to publicize the decision.

In Covid-impacted elections, the JD-U believes the turnout of the Dalit voters would be far better than the voters of other communities. At least four ministers — Ashok Kumar Choudhary, Maheshwar Hazari, Santosh Nirala and Krishna Kumar Rishi — have been told to oversee the implementation of pro-Dalit decisions of the government. 

Chaudhary is one of the prominent Dalit leaders of Bihar and is considered closest to Nitish Kumar.
The opposition RJD says such steps are meant to mislead the Dalit community and would backfire. “Nobody other than Lalu Prasad can serve the community’s interest better.”  

JD-U sources said Jitan Ram Manjhi, the national HAM chief who recently joined the NDA, will also tour across the SC-dominated areas for mobilizing the people towards the ruling NDA alliance. 
 

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)