Still struggling to gain ground

Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: Though former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana launched Poorvanchal Kranti Sangh recently with great fanfare, it has failed to make much of an impact or change political equations in any way in the Capital. It has received a lukewarm response even from its allies. With no credible political leader at the helm, the new outfit may find it tough to create a division of votes among the migratory voters from Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and parts of West Bengal.

Mr. Khurana, who has been at loggerheads with the BJP leadership in Delhi and at the Centre, is trying to garner support of the Poorvanchal voters in order to be in a bargaining position in future Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. It is a well-known fact that the Poorvanchal community has emerged as one of the strongest vote banks in Delhi and its influence extends to virtually 50 Assembly segments across the Capital.

However, observers feel that Mr. Khurana's attempts to woo the Poorvanchal community are unlikely to meet with much success as for a major part of his political career he has been identified as a Punjabi leader. Also, by trying to identify himself with the Poorvanchal community, Mr. Khurana has drifted away further from his traditional Punjabi vote bank.

Well-known Poorvanchal leader and Congress MLA from Nasirpur, Mahabal Mishra, feels these leaders have no credibility to take up the cause of Poorvanchal. "Mr. Azad was MLA in Delhi and Mr. Khurana a Chief Minister and Central Minister. What did they do then or what did their NDA Government do for the cause of the Poorvanchal community during the six-year rule at the Centre? They are just trying to capitalise on the resentment prevailing in the community over their continued use and neglect by the political parties. But they will not succeed in their plans," he adds.

Equally surprising for political observers is Mr. Khurana joining hands with the cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad who after having lost in Bihar parliamentary polls has once gain turned his attention to Delhi. The decision to make him president of the Poorvanchal Kranti Sangh has surprised many.