iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 24, 2013
The Bharatiya Janata Party has undertaken an extensive survey of migrants from Bihar and UP, known as Purvanchalis, and may field more candidates from the community.
There are an estimated 30 lakh Purvanchali voters in Delhi who can tilt the balance in the favour of candidates in at least eight assembly constituencies — Kirari, Burari, Shahdara, Sangam Vihar, Patparganj, Vikaspuri, Uttam Nagar, Badli. 

Sources said the survey was commissioned by the Delhi BJP to find out prominent faces from the Purvanchali community and the seats that has the highest concentration of voters belonging to the community.

Rather than treating them as a homogenous group, the community was divided into three sections for the survey. People hailing from eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand were treated as separate groups.

According to the survey, there has been a change in the city’s demography and it has to be reflected in the candidate selection too.

“There are 20-25 odd constituencies that have over 30% Purvanchali population. The party had given ticket to people from other communities in 2008 and lost, for instance Patparganj. The survey also shows that we need to field prominent faces from the community who have a clean image,” said a senior BJP leader.   

“The survey focused on candidates who could be given a chance. For 10-14 seats, the party has good candidates, including BJP national executive member Vani Tripathi, Poonam Azad, wife of former cricketer and BJP MP Kirti Azad, Aman Sinha and Vijay Bhagat. They may be given a chance,” added the leader.

“There is a need to tap the single largest community in Delhi. People from these regions also expect the BJP to field more candidates belonging to the region,” said another leader.

The BJP had recently promised to declare ‘Chhath’ festival a public holiday if voted to power. The party also said that it would focus on providing the community affordable housing and ration.

“The general perception is that people from these region belong to the lowest strata of the society and include labourers, daily wagers among others. However, times have changed and we have the second generation of Purvanchalis who are IT professionals and teachers,” said a BJP leader.

According to experts, the identity of the contestant in an election plays a bigger role than ideology when it comes to voting.