Cong woos Poorvanchalis

The Congress is betting big on support of Poorvanchali voters by planning to field candidates from the community in at least 10 seats, out of a total 70 constituencies, which have a sizeable chunk of the over 30 lakh voters from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The party which agitated on a number of issues related to Poorvanchalis around the Chhath Puja last month appears to be working on a strategy to win back voters of the community who went with the rivals in many constituencies in the December 2013 Assembly polls.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh said: “Giving wider representation to Poorvanchali candidates is needed as they constitute a sizable number of voters in Delhi.”

“Mahabal Mishra is our prominent Poorvanchali leader and the Congress is mindful of the presence of the voters from the region on almost one dozen seats,” he said.

Poorvanchalis, a term used to refer to migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, constitute nearly one-third of the total voters in the Capital. They also form nearly 35 per cent of Delhi’s population.

The Poorvanchalis who were earlier dominant in East and North East Delhi areas only now form a major vote bank in West and South West Delhi areas that is dominated by Punjabis and Jats.

Arvinder Singh refused to admit that his party was also going the Bharatiya Janata Party way by giving prominence to Poorvanchali leaders.

The saffron party uses Bhojpuri film star and North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari as a Poorvanchali icon to attract voters.

“It’s wrong to think that we have suddenly realised Poorvanchali voters’ weightage in the demography of Delhi. The Congress has been following the tradition of giving  representation to all groups since long,” said the Delhi Congress chief.

Mahabal Mishra, former Congress MP, said, “I am working for Poorvanchalis. It is only the Congress which recognised the strength of Poorvanchalis in the city.”

“We are sure of getting support from them in the coming elections,” said Mishra.
“We raised the demand for holiday on Chhath puja in Delhi and finally we got it,” he said.  
The constituencies with strong presence of Poorvanchalis include Burari, Kirari, Sangam Vihar, Patparganj, Vikaspuri, Uttam Nagar, Ghonda, Badli, Matiala, Dwarka, Palam, Badarpur, Laxmi Nagar, Seemapuri, Karawal Nagar, Rithala, Rajender Nagar, Nangloi, Mangolpuri and Shahdara,  among others, of all 70 constituencies, have the maximum 40 per cent migrant voters.

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