Monday, January 16, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Congress to focus on Dalit candidates in UP polls

Congress to focus on Dalit candidates in UP polls
January 15, 2012 15:07 IST

Keen to better the party's performance in Uttar Pradesh [ Images ],
Congress has decided to give special focus on reserved constituencies
as well as the seats from where it has fielded Dalit candidates in the

P L Puniya, one time close aide of Chief Minister Mayawati [ Images ]
and currently a Congress MP from Barabanki in the state and Sirsa
(Haryana) MP Ashok Tanwar have been given the 89 constituencies, where
Dalits are in the fray.

Of these 85 constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes while in
four general constituencies, Congress has put up Dalit candidates.

The party has entrusted the responsibility to Puniya, a former
bureaucrat, who is now also the Chairman of the National Commission
for Scheduled Castes, for obvious reasons.

Being once close to Mayawati, Puniya, will be able to counter the
BSP's campaign against Congress in these constituencies.

Tanwar, a former NSUI and Youth Congress President is a young Dalit
face from the Rahul Brigade.

The party is expecting a rise in its vote share among the Scheduled
Castes after Rahul's visit to Dalit homes, which also invited sharp
criticism from the opposition parties specially the BSP, which has
been dubbing it as a "gimmick".

Congress has decided to appoint "observers with election experience"
in all these 89 constiuencies. "Observers for these constituencies.

"Only one who is either an MLA, ex Minister or ex MLA having previous
experience in poll process will be appointed observers in these
constituencies," said a party functionary on the condition of
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