ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BIHAR-Many Faces of Caste Politics

BIHAR Many Faces of Caste Politics N K Singh Adult franchise made a difference, by bringing the backward castes within the political arena. At the same time, the rise of the opposition parties was able to cash in on this change. Among the political parties, the main beneficiary of 'backwardism' was the SSP which, under the leadership of the late Ram Manohar Lohia, made 'backwardism' into a near-croed. It was able to emerge as the second largest party in the 1967 elections and again in the 1969 mid-term poll. With the SSP's backing and their numerical superiority (52 per cent of the total population belonging to this group) backward caste leaders soon came into the limelight and were able to make wide political gains. Of the seven Chief Ministers of Bihar since 1967, four have been of backward castes and one a Harijan.

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