14 Feb Crux of U.P. welfare politics
Crux of U.P. welfare politics- Today Current Affairs
These twin pillars of the BJP’s political mobilisation, fighting the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are:
- social welfare.
Today Current Affairs
More than populism ? The Hindu Analysis
- However, BJP’s brand of welfare politics is → Electoral Populism.
- In U.P., the BJP’s welfare regime — centred on Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs)
In an influential work,, had demonstrated using the as a case study.
The essence of the political scientist Professor Kanchan Chandra is that voters mainly do not vote for ethnic parties out of deep psychological attachments, but because they expect to receive greater government benefits from their co-ethnic representatives.
To prove the basis of the success of ethnic or caste-based parties-
Case study of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has been taken.
Patronage transactions with their co-ethnic parties, has been found as a easy way by voters as the government programmes suffered with –
- Enormous bureaucratic discretion
- Inadequate information
- Poor transparency
Professor Kanchan Chandra characterised India as a “patronage democracy”.
The patron-client relationships have been a central part of the politics of U.P.. Even in the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP, the supportive groups were also mobilised via caste-based patronage networks.
Caste (in U.P.) – Today Current Affairs
- The most salient political identity
- The arbiter of access to the State
- The basis of political competition.
Direct cash transfers :- The Hindu Analysis
The welfare regime → welfare benefits → as direct cash transfers.
The middlemen, replaced by a digital regime — the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar Mobile (JAM) triad.
At present, the U.P. government is directly transferring cash in people’s account on 36 schemes through direct bank transfer Including –
Centrally sponsored schemes and various other allowances disbursed by the State government like : Today Current Affairs
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman (PM Kisan) Nidhi (Yojana)
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)/Ayushman Bharat
- Recently, Yogi Adityanath government disbursed ₹1,100 to parents for purchasing school uniforms.
- In January, ₹1,000 were reportedly transferred to the accounts of 1.5 crore unorganised workers in the State.
- Even in tangible asset creation (Ex. houses and toilets), the Government’s role is limited to transferring money into the beneficiaries’ account .
These cash handouts (along with an expanded and digitised provisioning of rations) have been described as having created a new political constituency for the BJP termed as labarthi or ‘welfare recipients’.
The political identity of the BJP is still a Hindu political identity.
A Hindutva discourse for the political transformation of backward castes and Dalits into Hindus.
Patronage networks ? The Hindu Analysis
A study in 2018 of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) by researchers at Princeton University, revealed that :
→ When MLAs and district collectors shared a surname, a contractor with the same surname was more likely to be awarded a contract.
The displacement of patronage networks is shaping the patterns of political mobilisation of the BJP in U.P. in 4 different ways :
(1) The party has been weakened at the local level where MLAs and district party functionaries have lost their power as intercessors and mediators in the welfare delivery process.
(2) The BJP is less dependent on cultivating a spectrum of backward caste leadership to mobilise backward caste votes, than it was in the previous election when it had inducted a number of such leaders from other parties.
(3) Neglection of public goods like education and health. Very llittle room left to expand the State sector to ameliorate the unemployment crisis.
(4) The presence of bureaucratic interface and organised interests are unavoidable, such as in the farm sector.
- To small and marginal farmers — an annual ₹6,000 transfer through the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.
- Even as the BJP quite overtly indulges in elaborate caste strategies for electioneering, it maintains that it is the only party above jativad or caste favouritism. Today Current Affairs.
- The ideological challenge that the BJP’s Hindutva faces in States such as U.P. is to hold down the resurgence of multiple political identities among the electorate.
Social welfare politics has been melded with Hindutva for extra reinforcement.
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Source : THE HINDU