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Caste card: BJP isn’t impressed

Even as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced four Brahmin candidates for Pune,Nashik,Thane and Ratnagiri Lok Sabha seats...

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune |
March 5, 2009 12:02:37 am

Even as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced four Brahmin candidates for Pune,Nashik,Thane and Ratnagiri Lok Sabha seats,the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is unlikely to take up a Brahmin candidate formula. The BJP is likely to declare its candidates on March 12.

The Pune Lok Sabha seat has a strong Brahmin vote bank with over four lakh votes,but the BJP feels the BSP will not significantly dent its traditional vote bank by playing the Brahmin card. “The BJP will announce the Pune candidate purely on ‘electoral merit’. It will not follow the BSP’s social engineering formula,” a senior leader said.

With the BJP state meeting is scheduled to be held after the Cong-NCP meeting on March 6,he said the names will be announced once the alliances are spelt out. The saffron alliance will follow the same seat-sharing pattern as in the last Lok Sabha elections — the BJP in 26 seats and the Sena in 22 seats. He said the party is yet to decide on four seats — Kalyan,South Mumbai,Jalgaon and Yavatmal.

City BJP chief Girish Bapat said the Brahmin background alone will not be the deciding factor in finalising candidates. “The meeting is yet to take place and I do not want to comment on the candidates.” There are three vying for the Pune Lok Sabha seat — Vikas Matkari,Anil Shirole and Anna Joshi.

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“Our voters have been consistent; The BSP will not split our votes. This formula may succeed in Uttar Pradesh,but not here,” he said.

The BJP-Sena combine won 25 of the 48 seats in the state in 2004 while it had won 28 in 1999.

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