Aiming to win 60 assembly seats, Bharatiya Janata Party is now eyeing the 12 reserved seats, having won only two of them in the past. The party’s national president Amit Shah has taken it upon himself to woo backward caste and community voters, for BJP to be able to win more seats in this hotly-contested category.
Shah will soon be addressing a second gathering of backward castes. In December, he had addressed a Dalit Mahasabha meet, organised by Dalit leader More Singh.
Many party leaders believe it was because of its symbol ‘broom’ that these seats were won by AAP in 2013. But this time, BJP is wooing every dalit or backward community leader who could swing votes in its favour.
To ensure that the gathering of these communities won’t go unattended by BJP’s “significant face”, Shah himself has been attending events. Aware that Shah’s words would hold meaning in BJP, the community’s leaders are showing interest, said a senior leader.
Last elections, AAP won nine out of 12 seats and BJP was restricted to two — Bawana and Gokulpuri. None went to Congress. In the 2008 Assembly election, Congress had won nine of the 12 seats.
Of the nine reserved seats won by AAP, seven — Mangolpuri, Patel Nagar, Madipur, Deoli, Ambedkar Nagar, Kondli and Seemapuri — were previously Congress seats. The other two — Trilokpuri and Karol Bagh — were with the BJP after the 2008 polls. Gokulpur was taken by the BSP in 2008 but was won by the BJP in 2013.