Thursday, February 9, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Caste Deciding Factor in Beni Prasad's Constituency

Caste Deciding Factor in Beni Prasad's Constituency
PTI | Dariyabad (Barabanki) | Feb 05, 2012

It is said people don't cast their vote, they vote for their caste in
this constituency, where Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma's prestige
is at stake.

Beni's son Rakesh Verma is getting a tough fight from SP and BJP
candidates in this seat, where muslim and scheduled caste votes could
prove to be the deciding factor.

Rakesh, who is the Congress candidate is banking on development works
done by him and his father and promising a complete change if elected,
the seat in which he was second runner up in 2007 polls is not going
to be a cake walk for him.

A cabinet minister in the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime, Rakesh secured
only 17,891 votes in 2007 and stood at the third place as a candidate
of the Samajwadi Kranti Dal-the outfit floated by his father Beni
after he left the SP.

Winning this seat is a prestige issue for the Union minister, who was
elevated to the post of cabinet minister due to his say in the Kurmi
vote bank.

Beni, who was recently booed in his parliamentary constituency in
front of Sonia Gandhi and earlier in Utraula in presence of Rahul
Gandhi had been charged by rivals of misusing his Steel ministry for
promoting his son here.

The constituency has 3.54 lakh voters comprising about 70 thousand
muslims and 60 thousand scheduled castes, which could prove to be a
deciding factor in making and breaking fortunes of 16 candidates, who
are in the fray here.

Though the constituency lacks development, it does not seem to be a
big issue among locals as they prefer to vote for their caste. And
this is the reason, why candidates are setting their caste equations

While Rakesh is confident of getting the majority of over 26 thousand
kurmi votes of his caste besides others, sitting SP MLA Rajiv Kumar
Singh, a thakur is also confident of sailing through easily with his
caste votes and the support of muslims.

Singh supporters say that they are confident about his victory as the
SP would be getting muslim votes besides that of Yadavs comprising
about 28 thousand due to party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

BSP and BJP both have fielded upper caste Brahmins --Vivekanand Pandey
and Sunderlal Dixit from the seat. While Pandey is banking on his
caste votes besides traditional scheduled caste votes of BSP, Dixit,
who is new entrant in this constituency is also trying to win hearts
of people.

Pandey, who had secured 42,837 votes in 2007 polls and was runner up
then is trying every trick to win this seat and appears upbeat and
confident of getting the peoples' support due to Mayawati, who, he
claim, ad done a lot for dalits and downtrodden and restore their
Filed On: Feb 05, 2012 13:25 IST

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