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Rivals Use Same-Caste Candidate Strategy To Counter Bjp

BSCAL 

Now, its opponents have adopted the same recipe for dividing upper caste votes. This, supplanted by the backward and the scheduled caste votes, may break the saffron party's fortress.

In Banda Vidhan Sabha, for instance, the BJP's bania candidate is confronted by a brahmin of the Congress (T) and thakur of the Congress, as part of the BSP-Congress alliance. This has led to a crumbling of the BJP vote bank of brahmins.

There is no firm estimate of how many brahmins voters will desert the BJP. Guestimates range from 19 to 80 percent. The Congress (T) candidate, who is liked by all, may swing a major block of votes.

Similarly, the Thakur candidate of Congress is also likely to garner a major chunk.

With the Thakur swing and the traditional BSP vote, he is regarded as the front runner at the moment, with BJP candidate yet to make his presence felt.

The situation has turned against the BJP, which won this seat even in the difficult election of 93, although by a margin 1000 votes.

Even in the Lok Sabha elections, which it lost from the Banda Lok Sabha constituency, it was ahead of the BSP by a margin of 3,000 votes. But now the situation has chaneged.

Similarly, in Mahoba, the brahmin candidate of the Congress-BSP alliance and the Thakur candidate of the SP have pushed the brahmin of the BJP to the third place.

The BJP was ahead of both the SP and the BSP in the recent Lok Sabha polls by a margin of over 15,000 votes. In 93, the JD had won the seat by a small margin, defeating the BSP and the BJP. Here again the brahmins have by and large deserted the BJP. So have the thakurs. The BJP, if it gets the votes of the Lodh Rajputs, may return to the fight, but otherwise has as good as lost the seat.

First Published: Sat, September 28 1996. 00:00 IST
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