TAMIL NADU

Vote bank politics

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati's bid to woo Brahmins — and her claim that she has never been against `upper' castes — is a compromise, given the things she has said about the community in the past. Except for making headlines in the media, the exercise is not likely to yield bloated vote banks to the BSP.

Alok Srivastava, New Delhi

The BSP, formed and nurtured by the Dalit vote base, is now making an effort to become a mainstream political party. It seems to be losing the ground on which it was founded. It bears testimony to the traditional wisdom of the Indian electorate, which does not allow parties with a communal or caste base to grow and sustain. On the other hand, by conducting maha rallies and `Brahmin jodo sammelans,' Ms. Mayawati has proved that she is more interested in power than Dalit empowerment.

Vijay Yellamelli, New Delhi

The condition of Brahmins is pathetic today. Will Ms. Mayawati, on regaining power, set a precedent by setting aside a percentage of jobs in government services for the economically backward Brahmins?

K.V. Seetharamaiah, Hassan, Karnataka

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