Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Here, BSP’s caste math may go for a toss


Here, BSP's caste math may go for a toss

Sanjay Singh Posted online: Wed Feb 22 2012, 04:42 hrs

Dibiyapur (Auraiya) : Dibiyapur, a small town in UP's Auraiya
district, is where Chief Minister Mayawati's image of a "good
administrator" was dealt the first blow — after the brutal killing of
PWD engineer Manoj Gupta in December 2008. Sitting BSP MLA from
Auraiya seat Shekhar Tiwari, sentenced to life imprisonment in the
case, is in jail.

Earlier, Dibiyapur was part of Auraiya, which has become a reserved
seat after delimitation; Tiwari is a native of Dibiyapur.

This time again, the ruling BSP has put its successful Brahmin-Dalit
formula of 2007 to test by fielding Ramji Shukla, a Brahmin, in
Dibiyapur. The town is part of the area known in UP politics as
Mulayamland comprising Auraiya, Etawah, Mainpuri and Kannauj
districts. "The way Mayawati has selected her candidates, it seems she
has little hope of forging a strong combination of Dalit and OBC
voters in these regions," said Shankar Choudhari, who had come to hear
BJP national president Nitin Gadkari's speech in Dibiyapur last

Mayawati had tried to bring OBC voters in her party fold in this
region during the 2009 LS elections. Those who were in the race for
the BSP ticket from Dibiyapur included BSP's two sitting MLAs — Shiv
Prasad Yadav from Bharthana and Mahesh Verma from Bidhuna. Bharthana
was snatched by the BSP from the SP in the by-election that was
necessitated after Mulayam Singh vacated it after his election to the
Lok Sabha in 2009. It has now become a reserved seat. Mahesh Verma had
eyed this seat to become a BSP nominee due to the substantial presence
of Lodhs, his castemen. Mayawati denied ticket to both Yadav and Verma
to accommodate Brahmin Ramji Shukla.

As things stand today, the BSP's decision to deny ticket to Mahesh
Verma has not only backfired but also seems to have benefited BJP
candidate Shiv Pratap Rajpoot, a Lodh.

The Congress, which has fielded Satyadeo Tripathi, appears to be in no
position to bag OBC votes in Dibiyapur "Voters know that the Congress
lack a social base and thus, no other castes wants to side with this
party," Mukul Shukla, who runs a medicine shop, said. Apart from
Dibiyapur, the BJP seems to be in good fight in Auraiya from where it
has fielded Chhakki Lal Kori. Auraiya's third constituency Bidhuna has
become an acid test for Mulayam Singh as his close relative, Pramod
Gupta, is the SP candidate here. If Mulayam fails to ensure the
transfer of Yadav votes in Gupta's favour, it would benefit Congress
candidate Vinod Yadav alias Kakka . The BSP nominee is Devesh Shakya,
brother of BSP's old horse and MLC Vinay Shakya who was the party's
candidate against Mulayam Singh in Mianpuri in the last Lok Sabha


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