The Congress is leaving no stone unturned to woo Brahmin voters in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The party has announced Sheila Dikshit—a Brahmin—as its chief ministerial candidate. It will also hold meetings with members of the community at every zone in the state from September 2.
The first meeting will be held at Allahabad and the next in Gorakhpur in October. The dates and venues of the remaining meetings are yet to be announced.
The Brahmin community, which constitutes 10 per cent of the population, had been the Congress' vote bank before the BJP bit into a major chunk of it. As part of the campaign to bring the alienated Brahmins back to its fold, the party has also coined a catchy slogan 'Abhi nahi to khabi nahi (if not now, never)'.
The party's polls strategist in the state, Prashant Kishor, had been holding a series of meetings with leaders of the community. The last meeting was held on Sunday in which over 30 representatives of various Brahmin organisations were present. During the meeting, which was also attended by Brahmin leaders from the party, the representatives of the forums pointed out that they are being ignored by various political parties in the state.
They lauded the Congress for announcing a Brahmin chief ministerial candidate and demanded more tickets for the members of the community.
It may be recalled that BSP chief Mayawati came back to power in 2007 after her party managed to tap into a major chunk of the Brahmin votes by fielding 89 leaders from the community. In the 2012 polls, the SP managed to grab only 19 per cent of the Brahmin votes.