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Regional groups marginalised

delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2008 21:03 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee
Anuradha Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
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Congress may be having second thoughts about its first list of 53 candidates for the Delhi assembly election, but regional minorities in the city are up in arms, complaining that the party has not given them adequate political representation.

“I feel the party has not been able to involve the south Indian community at all in its activities,” said PP Raveendran, a ticket hopeful from Vikaspuri.

Raveendran said over 28 lakh people from southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh lived in Delhi and a majority voted for the Congress, but when it came to electoral representation, the party overlooked them.

Raveendran was apparently denied the Vikaspuri seat since he lived in Kasturba Nagar, said a party leader. Former DUSU president Ragini Nayak is a front-runner for the Vikaspuri seat.

“Of the four MCD wards under Vikaspuri, two are dominated by members of the Malayalee community. Logically, a member of the community should get the ticket,” countered Raveendran. He said candidates from some communities were ignored as they were usually middle class professionals who could not pump in money for the polls.

Uttarakhandis in the city also expressed their displeasure over being ignored in the Delhi elections. “We are a 16-lakh strong community. But the Congress list of 53 has no member from our community. They gave only one ticket to an Uttarakhandi candidate for the MCD elections, while BJP gave tickets to nine. All of them won,” said AICC member Dhirendra Pratap Singh.

Singh said he had sought the intervention of AICC chief Sonia Gandhi for providing the community representation. “The Congress list is dominated by Jat, Gujjar and Punjabi candidates even in areas that do not have many members from their communities. The party can easily field an Uttarakhandi from Kasturba Nagar, Patparganj, New Delhi, Karawal Nagar, Palam or Burari,” said Singh.

Purabiya (from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) leaders are upset over their under representation in the Delhi polls. Mahabal Mishra, who was named from Dwarka, is the only Purabiya candidate to get a Congress ticket.