Swami Prasad Maurya, Former BSP general secretary joined BJP. It is a positive boost to BJP attempts to get the support from the backward castes. The community forms nearly half of Uttar Pradesh’s population and are capable of changing the results of the upcoming assembly elections.
Maurya have support from his own Maurya-Kushwaha caste. They are also known by Shakya and Saini surnames in westen part of the state. It will not only stregthen party’s hold on the caste group. But also strengthen BJP’s presence among the non-Yadav backward castes, whom BJP is trying to get support from.
Kushwaha-Maurya is one of the largest backward caste in the state. Other are Yadav, Kurmi and Lodh. Yadavs are seen as SP supporters. BJP is also trying to attract Kurmis which can be seen in the introduction of Anupriya Patel, Apna Dal MP as a union minister of state. BJP already has a huge number of leaders which includes Kalyan Singh, former chief minister and Uma Bharti, Union Minister from Lodh caste.
Maurya joining of BJP is going to attract support for BJP from his caste group and weak zones like SP’s Etawah, Etah, Mainpuri, Kannauj. It will also attract sections of Mayawati supporters. Maurya practices Buddhism and has been a BSP leader for two decades. This can be used by BJP to change the party’s image among sections of Dalits and backward castes.
BJP clearly will gain with Maurya’s arrival. Party will also have to deal with some problems that are going to arise with the entry. Maurya’s entry may lead to a power issues between him and Keshav Prasad Maurya, Phulpur MP. BJP appointed Keshav Maurya as state president to reach out to the Kushwaha-Maurya caste group. Swami Maurya became an MLA in 1996 has said that Keshav who became an MLA in 2012 is not widely known in his community. However, Keshav welcomed Swami Maurya at his joining .