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SATNA

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Satna
May 19, 2004 11:14 AM IST

In this ancient dusty town known for its Buddhist sculptures, people are politically aware, but it is caste equations which are hotly debated.

In this ancient dusty town known for its Buddhist sculptures, people are politically aware, but it is caste equations which are hotly debated.

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Even a road-side tea-stall owner near the town's bus stand Ram Singh, has his own views, "BJP has given ticket to one OBC, but people will vote in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee."

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His comment assumes significance as the BJP nominee Ganesh Singh, is a Kurmi-Patel, a backward community, while the Satna constituency has nearly 3.5 lakh Brahmin voters.

Admitting resentment within the BJP against the candidature of Ganesh Singh, a saffron party office-bearer on condition of anonymity says ultimately Brahmins and Thakurs will vote for the BJP, even if they do not like the party nominee.

The differences in the BJP over Singh's candidature is understandable. After switching loyalties to BJP ahead of the assembly polls from Janata Dal-United, he was suddenly thrusted as party's nominee for the parliamentary elections.

Singh is known for his proximity to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti. It was at Bharti's insistence that Singh got the ticket, a party leader said. May be Bharti is attempting to wean away backward community votes from BSP and SP by fielding a Kurmi-Patel candidate, he reasons.

There are over one lakh Kurmi voters in this Lok Sabha seat.

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