BSP's Dalit vote bank sees split in Speaker's seat
Sanjay Singh Posted online: Sun Feb 12 2012, 03:03 hrs
Bhado(Azamgarh) : For the first time in the last two decades, Bhado
village — a part of Azamgarh's Deedarganj Assembly seat where Assembly
Speaker Sukhdev Rajbhar is the BSP candidate — witnessed cracks in the
BSP's Dalit vote bank on polling day today.
A section of Dalit voters in this village were unhappy with Sukhdeo
Rajbhar's candidature from Deedaraganj. Their allegation against
Rajbhar was that he had not ensured the transfer of his caste members
for Hiralal Gautam, the then BSP nominee from the erstwhile Saraimeer
(reserved constituency) in the 2007 Assembly polls. Gautam, who lost
the last elections, is now the BSP candidate from Lalganj (reserved
Sukhdeo has been shifted to Deedarganj, which has come into existence
in place of erstwhile Saraimeer seat. His present seat - Lalganj - has
become a reserved seat after delimitation.
"I have never seen division in Dalit votes in this village in the last
two decades. This time Dalits even voted for the Ulema Council
candidate Bhupendra Singh alias Munna," said 60-year-old villager
Ramdhani. Another villager Ram Chandra Rajbhar also confirmed the
division in the Rajbhar votes. A section of Rajbhar voters made their
choice in the Bhartiya Samaj Party candidate Sushila Rajbhar.
"Bhartiya Samaj Party has been working to bag Rajbhar votes since the
results of 2007 Assembly elections. This party's candidate had got
more than 10,000 votes in the last Assembly elections," Ramchandra
The crack in the Dalit votes in Bhado is certainly not a good sign for
Speaker Rajbhar, who is BSP's most prominent face for this particular
caste in Eastern UP. Rajbhar, who was earlier associated with Akhil
Bhartiya Rajbhar Parishad in early 1980s, was brought to the BSP by
its founder Kanshiram.
Although most of the Dalit voters remained tight-lipped over the
division in BSP's core votes, they did sympathise for the party. "We
have no grievance against the BSP. But we were against Sukhdev
Rajbhar," one Akhilesh Ram said.
According to villagers, Sukhdev Rajbhar had an inkling about the
unhappiness among Dalit voters against him. "It was on his initiative
that the BSP leadership dropped the name of party's old horse
Harishchandra as BSP nominee from the Lalganj seat. Sukhdev ensured a
party ticket to Heera Lal Gautam for Lalganj seat at the last moment,"
a Dalit voter said on condition of anonymity.
While Muslims are in majority in Bhado village, which has over 4,000
voters, Rajbhar and Dalits are present in almost equal numbers.
On the contrary, BSP's decision to deny ticket to Harsihchandra Gautam
has almost backfired in Lalganj Assembly constituency. "The trend of
voting among Dalit voters in both Deedarganj and Lalganj has got
affected by the denial of party ticket to Harishchandra," one local
reporter, whom this reporter met at Varadawan, said. According to him,
Congress candidate Balihari Babu, who is an old horse of BSP, has also
made a dent into the BSP Dalit vote bank.
What is good for the BSP is that majority of voters in Rajbhar's
native village have made their choice in BSP candidate Heera Lal
Gautam. "Sukhdev Rajbhar maintains a good relation with his villagers
at Badgahan," said Hanif Ahemad. "Thoda Bahut hai (There are signs of
slight cracks in the BSP's Dalit vote bank in his village)," he
replied to a question.
Ironically, Sukhdev appeared to be locked in a triangular contest in a
constituency like Deedarganj which has considerable population of
Rajbhar and Dalit voters, besides Muslims.
What kind of beti is Uma? asks Kalyan Singh
Hardoi: Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh on Saturday hit out at
Uma Bharti for being with the BJP, saying despite calling herself his
daughter, she was working with a party which was trying to "kill him
politically". "Uma calls herself as my beti (daugther) but it is an
irony that she is working with the BJP, which is trying to kill me
politically", the former Hindutva leader said, addressing an election
meeting here. "What type of daughter is she, who is working against
her father? Whether she wins or gets defeated (in UP elections), BJP
will send her to Madhya Pradesh again", Singh said.
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