Community said to comprise about 30% of city population

Despite all the noise being made about giving adequate representation and rights to Poorvanchalis, who are now believed to comprise about 30 per cent of the city’s population, the Congress has not given a single ticket to the community in the 56 seats announced by it on Monday for the Delhi Assembly elections.

Party sources said it was strange because Poorvanchalis now constitute about 30 per cent of the total population and have a significant presence in some areas of West, North West and North-East Delhi.

In Karawal Nagar and Seelampur in North-East Delhi, the Poorvanchalis comprise about 50 per cent of the population and the BJP has fielded members of the community from here. Likewise, Congress sources said the number of Poorvanchalis is very high in West Delhi — in Dwarka at 30 per cent, Uttam Nagar 40 per cent, and Matiala, Vikaspuri and Kirari at nearly 50 per cent. Even in North-West Delhi there is a high concentration of the community in Narela and in Burari, which technically comes under the North-East Delhi constituency. All these areas have witnessed the influx of a large number of migrants in the past few decades.

The Congress had in 2008 fielded two members from the community — Mahabal Mishra from Dwarka and Amod Kanth from Sangam Vihar. But after the first list, only Mr. Mishra’s son Vinay remains in the fray from Dwarka.

The BJP, insist Congress leaders, has been more astute in handling this representation issue. “In their first list of 62 candidates, the party gave tickets to five members of the community — Anil Jha from Kirari, S.C.L. Gupta from Sangam Vihar, Vijay Bhagat from Badli, Abhay Verma from Laxmi Nagar and Kaushal Mishra from Seelampur. On the other hand, the Congress has this time — in keeping with the policy to woo the Jats — given greater representation to the community. As many as nine tickets have been given to the community in the first list despite the Jats constituting just about four per cent of the total population in the city.

Congress sources cautioned that not giving adequate representation to any community could cost the party dear. “Both the Janata Dal (United) and the newcomer Aam Aadmi Party will target Poorvanchalis in Delhi in a big way. We need to be aware of this and not hand over the election to the BJP on a platter,’’ said a Congress leader.

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