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BSP to woo Brahmins in Amethi

In a bid to make a dent in the Brahmin votebank of the Congress in Amethi,the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will begin to mobilise Brahmin voters from the constituency on Monday. At present,AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi represents the seat in the Parliament.

Written by Sanjay Singh | Lucknow |
February 9, 2009 2:12:58 am

In a bid to make a dent in the Brahmin votebank of the Congress in Amethi,the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will begin to mobilise Brahmin voters from the constituency on Monday. At present,AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi represents the seat in the Parliament.

Chief Minister Mayawati has asked the functionaries of the party’s Brahmin Bhaichara Samitis to complete its meetings before the announcement of dates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The BSP candidate from Amethi,Ashish Shukla,said: “The party’s Brahmin Samaj leadership has selected Amethi as the first spot to begin mobilisation of Brahmin votes. The party’s Brahmin face,Satish Chandra Mishra,will be the chief guest on Monday’s meeting.”

According to sources in the BSP,the party’s strategy is to keep its votes intact,as its candidates in the last Assembly elections had performed well in the five constituencies that come under the Amethi seat. “The party had bagged around 1.70 lakh votes in the last Assembly elections. So,Amethi is an important constituency for us,” said a source.

A few,however,contended that it was not necessary that the strategy of the Assembly election will also work in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Rahul Gandhi’s personality will become a major issue in the Lok Sabha elections. The BSP’s efforts are to continue the trend that had worked in its favour in the last Assembly elections. Though the party had given tickets to Brahmin candidates in Amethi,it could get only one MLA elected from Gauriganj,” said a party leader.

The party’s Brahmin Sammelan in Amethi has also gained political significance,as it will be the BSP’s first show after the controversy over land allotment for the rail coach factory in Rae Bareli. “This will help Mayawati to understand her party’s political base in Amethi,” the leader added.

“If the BSP is successful in holding an impressive meeting in Amethi,Dalits will automatically start supporting the party,” another leader said.

Moreover,Brahmins traditionally vote for the Congress. If they turn up in a large number at the meeting,it will send a strong signal among the Brahmins across the state,he added.

The Congress leadership has already undertaken special efforts to stop Dalit voters from being influenced by the “Maya factor”. Besides Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Dalit houses,the party has also accommodated Dalits in its local organisations.

“The Congress has selected most of its Samuh Prabhari from the Scheduled Caste community to stop the BSP from making inroads into the Congress’ Dalit vote bank,” a source in the Congress Party said.

He added: “Rahul’s team at the village level is full of Dalits. In every village,the party has selected one person as Samuh Prabhari. His task is to help a group of 10 families in the village.”

UP Cong workers asked to stay back in Delhi Around 900 Congress workers from Uttar Pradesh,including district presidents and block in-charges,were asked to stay for another day after the party’s national convention concluded in Delhi on Sunday. Reason: to participate in discussions on the Lok Sabha elections and the future of the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance.
All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijay Singh,Uttar Pradesh Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi,Congress Legislative Party leader Pramod Tiwari and Rahul Gandhi are expected to participate in the meeting.
Those representatives from UP,who got a chance to speak at the party convention,indicated they will like the party to go it alone in the Lok Sabha election,rather than enter into an alliance. “We made it clear that we are not in favour of an alliance. We have been told that Rahul will personally meet us and give us a patient hearing,” said a worker.
— ENS

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