Here,BSP’s caste math may go for a toss

Dibiyapur,a small town in UP’s Auraiya district,is where Chief Minister Mayawati’s image of a “good administrator” was dealt the first blow — after the brutal killing of PWD engineer Manoj Gupta in December 2008.

Written by Sanjay Singh | Dibiyapur (auraiya) | Published:February 22, 2012 4:42 am

Dibiyapur,a small town in UP’s Auraiya district,is where Chief Minister Mayawati’s image of a “good administrator” was dealt the first blow — after the brutal killing of PWD engineer Manoj Gupta in December 2008. Sitting BSP MLA from Auraiya seat Shekhar Tiwari,sentenced to life imprisonment in the case,is in jail.

Earlier,Dibiyapur was part of Auraiya,which has become a reserved seat after delimitation; Tiwari is a native of Dibiyapur.

This time again,the ruling BSP has put its successful Brahmin-Dalit formula of 2007 to test by fielding Ramji Shukla,a Brahmin,in Dibiyapur. The town is part of the area known in UP politics as Mulayamland comprising Auraiya,Etawah,Mainpuri and Kannauj districts. “The way Mayawati has selected her candidates,it seems she has little hope of forging a strong combination of Dalit and OBC voters in these regions,” said Shankar Choudhari,who had come to hear BJP national president Nitin Gadkari’s speech in Dibiyapur last Sunday.

Mayawati had tried to bring OBC voters in her party fold in this region during the 2009 LS elections. Those who were in the race for the BSP ticket from Dibiyapur included BSP’s two sitting MLAs — Shiv Prasad Yadav from Bharthana and Mahesh Verma from Bidhuna. Bharthana was snatched by the BSP from the SP in the by-election that was necessitated after Mulayam Singh vacated it after his election to the Lok Sabha in 2009. It has now become a reserved seat. Mahesh Verma had eyed this seat to become a BSP nominee due to the substantial presence of Lodhs,his castemen. Mayawati denied ticket to both Yadav and Verma to accommodate Brahmin Ramji Shukla.

As things stand today,the BSP’s decision to deny ticket to Mahesh Verma has not only backfired but also seems to have benefited BJP candidate Shiv Pratap Rajpoot,a Lodh.

The Congress,which has fielded Satyadeo Tripathi,appears to be in no position to bag OBC votes in Dibiyapur “Voters know that the Congress lack a social base and thus,no other castes wants to side with this party,” Mukul Shukla,who runs a medicine shop,said. Apart from Dibiyapur,the BJP seems to be in good fight in Auraiya from where it has fielded Chhakki Lal Kori. Auraiya’s third constituency Bidhuna has become an acid test for Mulayam Singh as his close relative,Pramod Gupta,is the SP candidate here. If Mulayam fails to ensure the transfer of Yadav votes in Gupta’s favour,it would benefit Congress candidate Vinod Yadav alias Kakka . The BSP nominee is Devesh Shakya,brother of BSP’s old horse and MLC Vinay Shakya who was the party’s candidate against Mulayam Singh in Mianpuri in the last Lok Sabha elections.

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