BSP plans a Brahmin challenge in LS polls

The political scenario in the city is all set for an upheaval with the Bahujan Samaj Party gearing up for a social-engineering effort ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Written by SiddharthKelkar | Pune | Published:March 2, 2009 1:46 am

Pune constituency : Party shortlists four candidates including builder and ex-MP

The political scenario in the city is all set for an upheaval with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) gearing up for a social-engineering effort ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The party is looking for a Brahmin candidate,banking on the caste factor,and has shortlisted four probable candidates,including a top builder and a former BJP MP.

Two days ago,the party had organised a training programme for its workers in the city. A senior party leader,who did not wish to be quoted,confirmed that the builder had attended the workshop for almost two hours.

“The party has shortlisted four probable candidates for the Pune seat,but the names will only be revealed after discussion with party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati,” state BSP chief Vilas Garud told Newsline. “The success of social engineering efforts in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls have changed the image of the party and also boosted the morale of our workers,” he said.

As a social-engineering experiment,the BSP is considering Brahmin candidates in constituencies where Brahmin Sammelans were held. And going by the logic,the party’s Pune candidate is going to be a Brahmin. A senior leader said a Brahmin candidate in Pune will definitely help the party as it has around four lakh Brahmin voters.

The BSP candidate in Pune had managed to bag 9,100 votes in the 2004 Lok Sabha election,to the surprise of other political parties. “If the BSP is able to rope in a candidate from the Bramhin community then the other parties will have a tough time,” a political observer said. The constituency has been a stronghold of the Congress with their votes coming in from the backward communities while the Brahmin community,which has a good presence in the city,has been with the BJP for long.

The BSP,meanwhile,has been keeping a low profile in the city. This was evident during the training workshop held last week. Though the state president had come for the workshop,mediapersons were not officially invited and those present were requested to leave the place. According to a party leader,the party workers were invited for the workshop through SMSes. “Around 500 SMSes were circulated that day,” he said.

“The BSP has established its network in the city. The party has been trying to establish a network amongst different communities by organising meetings,” he said. Recently,the party had organised a meeting of North Indians in the city. And next on the card are meetings of South Indians,Christians and the Matang community.

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