Friday, January 13, 2012

[ZESTCaste] From dalit welfare to Bundelkhand — small parties have big agendas

From dalit welfare to Bundelkhand — small parties have big agendas
RAMENDRA SINGH Posted online: Fri Jan 13 2012, 04:00 hrs
Lucknow : With agendas as diverse as statehood for Bundelkhand to the
rights of the physically disabled, as many as 33 registered
unrecognised parties are in the fray in UP. This week, for the first
time, the Election Commission allotted them common symbol for use in
the Assembly elections.

The small parties include those formed by leaders ousted from major
political parties and the ones formed by Muslim leaders.

Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh formed Jan Kranti Party in 2010
when the alliance between Singh and SP broke down. Kalyan Singh has
his base among OBC communities, especially Lodhs, the caste to which
he belongs. His party has announced candidates for 212 seats and has
presence in Etah, Etawah, and Bulandshahr districts.

Rashtriya Lok Manch, founded by former SP leader Amar Singh in June
2010, has leaders like Rampur MP and actress Jaya Prada, and Muslim
leader Obaidullah Azmi. It will field candidates in all parts of the
UP, but will focus mainly on eastern UP. Singh demands separate
Poorvanchal in eastern UP. The party has announced candidates for 350

Among the several political outfits led by Muslim leaders, Peace Party
is the most prominent. Although it has not won any election in past,
it showed its strength in the Domariyaganj assembly by-election in
2010 when its candidate fetched more votes than those by SP and
Congress candidates. The party contested 21 Lok Sabha seats in 2009
and many of its candidates fetched significant number of votes. Peace
Party will contest 230 seats while the remaining seats will be
contested by its allies, Apna Dal and Bundelkhand Congress.

Apna Dal has its base among Kurmis of eastern UP and will contest on
about 100 seats. Bundelkhand Congress, led by Raja Bundela has been
campaigning for statehood for Bundelkhand and plans to contest all
assembly seats in the region.

Ittehad Front, a conglomeration of 20-odd small political outfits,
plans to contest all 403 seats on a common agenda. Peace Party, Apna
Dal and Bundelkhand Congress left the front within days of joining it.

The front now includes All India Ittehad Milli Council (AIIMC),
Trinamool Congress, Bharatiya Samaj Party of Om Prakash Rajbhar, Qaumi
Ekta Dal of Afzal Ansari and Indian Justice Party.

AIIMC has its base among the Muslims of western UP districts of
Bareilly, and Moradabad. Indian Justice Party, which is planning to
contest about 75 assembly seats, promises to give representation to
most dalits and most backwards.

Braj Vikas Party which sprang up recently advocates statehood for 29
districts of western UP and will contest on about 50 seats.

Adarsh Samaj Party plans to contest about 100 seats. Its agenda is to
create an ideal society.

Formed in the backdrop of the Batla House encounter of 2008, the Ulama
Council has announced candidates for 70 assembly seats.

Along with its allies Communist Party of India(Marxist), Jan Sangharsh
Morcha, Nav Bharat Nirman Party, Rashtravadi Communist Party and
Socialist Party of India, the Ulama Council plans to contest all 403
assembly seats.

Mahan Dal, which claims to be representing OBCs like Saini, Shakya,
Kushwaha and Maurya, has announced candidates for 50 seats and plans
to contest about 150 seats.

Janwadi Party claims its focus on the grievances of "most backward and
most Dalit'' communities, is demanding quota within quota for them.

The Rashtriya Viklang Party, which plans to contest 50 seats, has a
special focus on the welfare of disabled and eunuchs. the party has
announced a list of 53 candidates and plans to contest about 200.


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