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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 24, June 10, 2023

"B.C. Agenda" is the major weapon of Telangana’s main parties for the 2023 elections! | Kandagatla Sravan Kumar

Friday 9 June 2023


by Kandagatla Sravan Kumar *

The caste issue was a significant element in the recent Karnataka assembly elections in 2023 and is anticipated to have an impact on the Telangana elections scheduled for the end of this year, 2023. To win over the majority segment to their side, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress Party, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) are perfecting their courting techniques and refining their political strategies. All of the major political parties in Telangana state are attempting to win over the BCs (backward classes), which make up the majority of voters, in advance of the state’s assembly elections. More than half of the voters are from BC only. The BRS, BJP, and Congress raised the “BC slogan” to tame them and come to power. In the recent elections in Karnataka, too, the votes of strong social groups and “Ahinda (a Kannada acronym for Alpasankhyataru or minorities, Hindulidavaru or backward classes, and Dalitaru or Dalits) social engineering formula” became the key to coming to power. Now, this has affected the politics of Telangana State too. That’s why all three major parties are getting ready to go public with the "BC agenda". As per the Special Summary Revision (SSR) Final Roll-2023 published by the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), there are about 2.99 crore voters in the state. Among them, 1.61 crore voters are from backward classes, which is up to 54%. BC’s votes will be crucial for which party wins in each constituency. Keeping this in mind, all the parties are working hard to come to power. Once we look at the promises and declarations made to the backward classes by these three major parties, as follows:

BJP’s announcement that they will give a big boost to BCs

The BJP, which wants to come to power, simultaneously announced the BC declaration on May 21, 2023, at the state executive meeting. It has been revealed what will be implemented if it comes to power. It has been announced that the Telangana State’s BC Commission will be given constitutional status, the same promise already implemented at the central level, and allocations will be made in the budget based on the population proportion of BCs. All the students studying abroad will be given financial assistance without any limit, it said. In the declaration, the BJP said that they will give priority to BCs in nominated positions and give preference to most backward classes (MBC) in BCs who cannot contest and win elections.

Congress is in the process of gathering BC

Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Party, promised during the Karnataka assembly election campaign that Karnataka would undertake a caste census of BC, enforce a 50% quota, and begin taking initiatives for their development. The success of the party was greatly influenced by all of these guarantees. The Congress Party is rumoured to be preparing to use a similar tactic in Telangana as well.

The A, B, C, and D groups of BCs presently get a 25% quota in Telangana State, whereas the E group, consisting of Muslims who are socially and educationally backward and have 4% reservations, enjoys a 29% quota altogether. If elected to power in the forthcoming assembly elections, the Telangana Congress would increase the reservations for the BCs in the education and employment sectors from the current 29% to 40%. Additionally, the party will increase the BC quota in elections for rural and urban local bodies to 40%. In order to ensure compliance with the 50% overall ceiling set by the Supreme Court of India, the present BRS government decreased the BC quota in local body elections from 34% to less than 23% in 2018. The Congress Party is planning to give financial support to BC caste-based occupations if they win the forthcoming elections.

BRS attempts to score a hat-trick

The BRS government is also planning to counter the two national parties (i.e., the BJP and the Congress). Various schemes and initiatives are being undertaken for assisting BCs under the direction of the BRS government. A resolution was passed in the recently held May 18, 2023; state cabinet meeting allocating huge funds for BCs. Trying to hit a hat trick, the government has announced the BC policy to divert the votes of BCs towards them. The Cabinet decided to give a loan of one lakh rupees on subsidy to each of the 11 federations of BC castes and the 30 castes of most backward classes for caste-based occupations. The government has announced that Rs. 2 thousand crores have been allocated for this. BCs who have not received any benefit from the government until now have the opportunity to get these loans. The government has declared that there is no need to repay Rs. It is clear that this statement was made to win back the support of BCs and to say that their government wants the welfare of BCs. The government announced insurance schemes for BC communities of toddy tappers and handloom waivers on the lines of the “Rythu Bima” scheme (a farmer’s group life insurance scheme). The state government has been implementing schemes like free power to saloons, fish distribution, washing machines for the washermen community, sheep distribution, and cash transfers for sheep rearing units for different BC communities, and other BC welfare initiations like Mahatma Jyothiba Phule Overseas Vidya Nidhi for BC aspirants (financial assistance for pursuing higher education abroad), free coaching for civil services and other competitive examinations for BC candidates, special BC welfare residential schools, colleges and hostels, and self-respect building complexes (Atma Gourava bhavans) of BC communities, etc. The BRS government is in favour of a national caste census; already, the Telangana Assembly has passed a resolution for a caste census of BCs in 2021.

The “Brahmastra” (a powerful weapon) of all three major parties in Telangana is a vote bank of backward classes. Whichever party impresses the most backward sections through their promises and declarations is likely to win and come to power. All three parties mentioned above are proposing declarations for members of different castes and classes in Telangana State. In any case, in the forthcoming Telangana assembly elections likely to be held at the end of 2023, the "BC agenda" is going to be an important factor because the BC population is higher than other castes and voting participation is also high. In some erstwhile districts like Mahabubanagar, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Medak, and Nizamabad, having a large portion of BC voters is a deciding factor in winning or losing parties in the state of Telangana. Thus, the three main parties are chanting for the votes of BCs.

At present, in the Telangana assembly, there are only 21 MLAs from backward classes. The argument of the BCs has been that there should be sixty MLAs (50%) from backward classes in proportion to their population in the state. There is no representation from most backward castes in the legislative assembly, and their neglect would equally affect the prospects of the ruling and opposition parties in future elections. Lack of political empowerment, economic deprivation, a lack of unity among the backward classes, and non-cooperation among the BCs are the major arguments and challenges facing the backward classes in Telangana State.

* (Author: Dr. Kandagatla Sravan Kumar is a Ph.D. (Sociology) holder from Kakatiya University, Warangal, Telanagana State. Presently, he is working as an Academic Counsellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Warangal, Telangana State. e-mail: sravankuc[at]


BJP makes a ‘BC Declaration’, to mobilise BCs to come to power in TS. (May 18, 2023). Retried from

Sravan Kumar, K. (2023, May 21). Which party will BCs unite behind in TS?. The Hans India. 7.


Ahinda (A Kannada acronym for Alpasankhyataru or minorities, Hindulidavaru or backward classes, and Dalitaru or Dalits) is a Political terminology coined by the Karnataka state’s first backward leader D. Devraj Urs.

Brahmastra is derived from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Brahmastra is used to refer to a powerful and destructive planetary alignment or configuration.
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