BSP making inroads into the Congress base in the national capital does not seem to have shaken the grand old party with its leadership exuding confidence that Mayawati's social engineering will not cut much ice in New Delhi.
Congress' Delhi unit chief Jaiprakash Aggarwal said his party has a "strong base" in the city and expressed confidence that the party-led government will return to power for the third successive term in the coming Assembly elections.
"BSP winning seats in municipal elections last year has not affected our strength. They have not won any seats reserved for Dalits. They won some seats in the MCD because we were a little weak then," he said.
"I see no threat from BSP and we are not disturbed by their rise. They will not be able to pose any threat to our traditional vote-bank," Aggarwal, also a Rajya Sabha member from Delhi, said.
He also made light of BSP announcing candidates for 66 Assembly seats in Delhi. "This is not going to help BSP. I am confident that we will emerge victorious for the third consecutive term in the polls," he said.
When pointed out that BSP garnered 9.9 per cent of the votes in the MCD election in April 2007, he said "it does not mean that BSP is powerful. The fact was that Congress was weak at that time. Now our party has strengthened itself."
The BSP has announced its intention to replicate the "social engineering", which helped them to win the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, in the national capital.
Of the 66 candidates whose names have been announced so far, over 20 belong to upper castes while about 20 are from the backward classes.