Cong appoints Brahmin woman to take on 'Dalit's daughter' in UP

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Lucknow, Sep 24 (UNI) The AICC's decision to appoint Rita Bahuguna Joshi as the new president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress is widely being seen as a move to resurrect its Brahmin vote bank which had deserted the party following the Mandal, Mandir and Bahujan waves.

Ms Joshi was so far the president of the All-India Mahila Congress and a secretary in charge of the UP Congress.

''Her only claim to fame is that she is the daughter of former UP chief Minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna...she was earlier with the Samajwadi Party and her association with Congress is relatively new,'' said a senior functionary of the outgoing state Congress Committee.

Ms Joshi had unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary elections from Sultanpur on a SP ticket. A former mayor of Allahabad, she had also contested the recently held assembly elections from Allahabad South assembly constituency.

''It seems that high command wanted to invest in a person who was a Brahmin as well as a woman...with the central leadership preparing for a mid-term Lok Sabha poll, perhaps the AICC wanted to regain its lost Brahmin base which has off late been eroded by the Mandal, Mandir and the latest Bahujan waves,'' an UPCC secretary added.

The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party which won the assembly elections with a brute majority had played its Brahmin-Dalit card well. A senior leader like Salman Khurshid failed to do wonders for the party in the assembly elections, with the party's strength in the assembly dipping from the previous 25 to 22.


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