Sunday, January 29, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Cong drafts Brahmin leaders to woo upper caste vote bank

Cong drafts Brahmin leaders to woo upper caste vote bank
TNN | Jan 29, 2012, 04.14AM IST

NEW DELHI: Few in Uttar Pradesh would have heard Mange Ram Sharma's
name. But the Congress leader from Haryana has been asked to campaign
in the state. So are many others who may be faceless for an average UP
voter, but have a surname that suggests Brahmin caste.

Congress is mobilizing Brahmin leaders of consequence or otherwise
from across the country to boost its campaign in UP amid concern that
the party's strong pitch for Muslims and OBCs may have left the
Brahmins peeved.

The upper castes formed the Congress core since Independence and were
expected to be the first to return to the party fold after Rahul
Gandhi took over the reins. However, the 'social engineering' for the
upcoming polls seems to have blacked out the community, who are being
wooed by BSP's sarvjan slogan and BJP's use of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's

The belated concern has forced the Congress to send SoS to its Brahmin
leaders - big and small, young and old. Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and
many others from north India are likely to descend on the state soon.

The worry on the Brahmin front is a first for Congress which, despite
the premier community's desertion in the wake of Ayodhya movement, was
assured its return would lay the foundation for the party's revival in
the state.

But Congress's most serious attempt in UP in the last 20 years does
not seem to have enthused the Brahmins. Many attribute the
indifference to the party's blind focus on OBCs, Muslims and dalits,
complaining the community felt taken for granted. The leadership front
too seems barren despite Rita Joshi and Pramod Tiwari being heads of
Congress state unit and legislature party, respectively, who are
overshadowed by the central leaders.

Insiders have advocated caution in junking the old support-base for
the new combination. The Brahmins form a critical group across UP and
their support can make or mar the chances in many assembly seats, and
their good presence even in strong OBC strongholds like central UP and
Bundelkhand are a case in point. "So, why unnecessarily give them a
reason to feel aggrieved?" a leader said.

Brahmins' exit from Congress was part of the unraveling of Congress's
traditional base during the Ayodhya movement. The temple-triggered
polarization snuffed the life out of the grand old party, as Muslims
slipped towards 'Maulana Mulayam' and BJP swept the upper castes with
Hindu appeal. A declining Congress star was the apt recipe for the
rising BSP to work its magic on dalits. That was the end of
dalit-Muslim-Brahmin axis that formed the basis for Congress's
invincibility in the heartland.

However, much changed over the last few years to resurrect Congress's
fortunes. For instance, BJP's continuing failure in Delhi has nudged
the Brahmins to reconsider their options, while their short-lived
bonhomie with BSP post-2007 seems to have soured too.

Congress strategists say the party is keen to seize the vacuum on the
Brahmin front.

Recent Activity:
Get all ZESTCaste mails sent out in a span of 24 hours in a single mail. Subscribe to the daily digest version by sending a blank mail to, OR, if you have a Yahoo! Id, change your settings at

On this list you can share caste news, discuss caste issues and network with like-minded anti-caste people from across India and the world. Just write to

If you got this mail as a forward, subscribe to ZESTCaste by sending a blank mail to OR, if you have a Yahoo! ID, by visiting

Also have a look at our sister list, ZESTMedia:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive