Caste,community still major considerations in selection in UP and U'khand
Lucknow: Caste and community matter most in elections for all major political players in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand whatever they may say. It is as true in case of other parties as the Congress. An scrutiny of the lists released by the party in two states so far makes it bare.
As Brahmins and Thakurs constitute 60 per cent of the population in the hill states, most of the candidates selected by the party belong to these two castes. Weightage has been given to Thakur caste as numerically it is stronger. Contestants for 64 out of the total 70 seats have been chosen so far.
It is not a coincidence that the chief minister and chief of the party belong to these two castes. While Rawat is a Thakur, state party president Kishore Upadhyay is a Brahmin.
As this caste combination is not a winning combination in the adjoining state of Uttar Pradesh, a different formula has been adopted for the state. The party has finalised list of 43 candidates so far out of which 20 per cent seats have been allotted to Muslims. It has been offered 105 out of the total 403 assembly seats by the Samajwadi Party which has tied up with it for the first time.
In the list which is out , ten Muslims have been provided tickets. It includes controversial member of the community Imran Masood who had threatened Narendra Modi in 2014 with dire consequences if he ever visited his constituency in the state. He was jailed for the hate-speech against him.
More members of the community may find place in the subsequent list as it accounts for 19 per cent of the total 22- crore population out of which 14 crores are voters.
It is precisely for this reason that two other major political players, the SP and the BSP, have preferred them to some others. The BJP is the only party which has not cared much for them. It still largely depends on Hindu votes.