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

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longer record on the related issues, should not have become the target of the indifference of the dalits and OBCs. Clearly, the Dal was defeated because, in camparison with the SP-BSP combine, the dalits and OBCs found it less than sincere in terms of its willingness to fulfil its promises. It is instructive to note in this context (i) the post-election remarks of Ram Vilas Paswan who has accused the Dal leadership of ignoring his plea to put up a greater number of candidates from among the dalits and OBCs, and (ii) the preponderance among the Dal winners of those who have been elected from the jat-dominated areas. The results of the elections are yet to be analysed, but it may turn out, similarly, that the supporters of the BJP have overwhelmingly remained ipper caste business people and brahmins and raj puts. What all this indicates is a polarisation of the Hindu voters less on caste lines and more on lines of economic status. The individual Hindu voter has generally cast her vote for that party which in her eyes is more likely to serve her economic interests. At the same time, however, the polarisation has manifested itself in terms of caste, due to the obvious reason that a majority of the poor and marginal people in UP continue to belong to the lower castes. This phenomenon, which is not new, once again presents an opportunity to the orthodox left if it is prepared to subject its traditional class-based politics to some introspection.

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