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

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WEST BENGAL-Free Hand for Police

upper castes like the Reddys, the Brahmins and the Velamas and other groups such as the Muslims and the scheduled castes. The backward classes, though numerically the largest single segment of the population (about 40 per cent according to recent estimates), have been kept away from this position, though BC leaders like Konda Lakshman Bapuji were given ministerships. Of the 27 or so presidents of the state PCC in the last 33 years, not one has belonged to the BCs. The same is true of the chief ministership, though an SC leader like Damodaram Sanjivayya and Brahmins like P V Narasimha Rao have been chief ministers. This perhaps was one of the reasons for the BCs moving away from the Congress since the early seventies. The most prosperous sections among the BCs (like the Kapus of coastal Andhra) have become vocal and cannot be dismissed politically. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leadership realised this fact even before the party came to power and so it has stressed BC welfare, sometimes even at the expense of SC interests.

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