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Cong joins queue at reservation counter

delhi Updated: Nov 24, 2008 23:59 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

It is an election like never before. With BSP looking for a larger share of the electoral pie in the city, the 12 assembly seats reserved for candidates from schedule caste communities are the centre of attention for political parties in the city.

The seats are being considered crucial enough to decide the tilt of the forthcoming assembly election.

“In a sense these elections are unique as they are primarily centered around the reserved seats. The BJP has its dedicated voters in some pockets, but in order to win the elections, it needs to garner some votes on these seats, too. These seats account for nearly 14 lakh votes,” said a Congress leader.

“On analysing past election results, it was identified that any party that manages to do well on these seats manages to win the elections. These are all seats that witness a high turnout on poll day,” said the Congress leader. National leaderships are aware of this

In fact, the Congress leadership was not taking the power of these voters lightly at all. Apart from the campaign being conducted by the state unit, the national leadership has also set up a parallel team that will focus only the 12 reserved seats — Bawana, Sultanpur Majra, Mangolpuri, Karol Bagh, Patel Nagar, Madipur, Deoli, Ambedkar Nagar, Trilokpuri, Kondli, Seemapuri and Gokulpur. Apart from DPCC, Youth Congress has been given the exclusive charge of handling these seats.

“These are seats where we have always done well. The turnout is as high as 55 per cent on a number of these seats. The Congress’ efforts like providing housing to the poor and regularisation of unauthorised colonies will pay dividends,” said Chaudhry Prem Singh, Congress candidate from Ambedkar Nagar.

But detractors pointed out that a number of these crucial seats were with the BJP, while on others, BSP was going to take away a number of Congress votes.

“Mangolpuri, Sultanpur Majra and Ambedkar Nagar are all seats that are with Congress anyway. But what about seats like Kondli, Trilokuri, Bawana, Gokulpur, Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar? BJP has a strong grip on Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar,” said a party insider.