In Haryana, BJP successfully experimented with this reverse strategy so that the politically dominant Jats, the main agrarian community in that state, were ignored.
In Punjab, the BJP never had its base of support among Sikhs, even when they voted for the party during its long alliance with SAD. Agricultural unrest has widened the gap between the two sides, as most of the farmers in the state are Jat Sikhs.
In Gujarat, Patidars are estimated to make up around 13-14% of the total population and Jat Sikhs in Punjab are estimated to be around 25%, even as BJP insists their number is around 18%.
The BJP has incorporated some Sikhs, including Jat Sikhs, into the party fold in Punjab and is also awarding them important positions. Has designated former All-India Sikh Harinder Singh Kahlon, Student Federation coordinator, as spokesperson for Punjab BJP. To a large extent, the BJP is focused on making the electoral battle a competition between the Jat Sikhs and others.
The pattern has emerged from the party’s decisions and the organizing secretary, Dinesh Kumar, had made the strategy very clear last year. TOI had reported its joint on December 10 of last year. “Haryana’s model can also be replicated in Punjab,” he had said when revealing his party’s strategy for Punjab.
In Punjab, mainly the Jat Sikhs have been the politically dominant party so far and the remaining 82% of Sikhs who are not Jat I don’t have an adequate share of power, Kumar had said.
“When he became Jat in front of everyone else in Haryana, BJP formed his government. If this can happen in Haryana (where the Jats have dominated politically and most of the CM also belong to the community), Punjab is no different. Here too, 82% of non-Jat Sikhs have never had a chance to have a proper share of power, ”he had told TOI on December 9 last year.
“Until now, only the Jat Sikhs have been ruling the state, as only they have become top ministers. They did not give a respectable share to others, “Kumar had said, adding:” We also have Jat Sikhs and our approach is inclusive. We have Sikhs in the party. ”
It is in this context that the BJP is trying to win over Dalits in Punjab and even announced that it would appoint a Dalit prime minister in the state, even as it has failed to make great strides in the South Carolina community in recent years.
the Punjab Dalits They are not a single entity and the two dominant castes among the Dalits – Ravidassia / Adidharmis and Mazhabi Sikhs / Valmikis – do not get along politically.
These groups have been competing with others for political space. Because of this, it is unclear how much success BJP would have in winning over the Dalits in Punjab.
Another crucial factor in Punjab is that farmers have received support not only from the wider Sikh community, but also from sections of Punjabi Hindus and Dalits who have also been playing an important role in deflating polarization attempts so far.