For a long time (40 years) in Bihar, political activity was a privilege and the prerogative of the landed and upper castes particularly Bhumihars, Brahmins and Rajputs.The population of Bhumihar is 2.5%, Brahmins 5% and Rajput 5% in Bihar. This was more so in the Bhojpuri belt from which Lalu Yadav hails. The landed upper castes also dominated the civil and police administrations. Despite reservations in government service, many OBC and SC people could not avail of it because of the poor state of basic primary and secondary education in Bihar. The powerful castes mainly supported the Congress Party in rural areas and the Jan Sangh in urban areas. Coming from an impoverished family of cattle herders and small farmers of the backward and aggressive Yadav caste,Yadav is 18% in Bihar. Lalu Yadav wanted to gain in political influence for his community and had a sense of hatred towards the Hathwa Raj, hereditary Bhumihar landed magnates of Gopalaganj and Siwan. He and others of his ilk, like Sharad Yadav, Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan lashed on to the opportunity provided by JP Narayan's anti-emergency movement. The emergency was a period of Congress dictatorship, which indirectly implied upper-caste dictatorship, in Bihar, In the 1977 State and National elections, backward caste candidates triumphed in most constituencies.
In the late 1980s, due to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, Muslims throughout North India were feeling insecure. Muslims constituted about 20% and Yadav constituted 18% of Bihar's population. They were traditionally politically active but were backward in educationally as well as economically. Thus Lalu Prasad Yadav sought an alliance with sections of the community.
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