Playing the social engineering card in Chhattisgarh, both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have not only fielded an equal number of tribal and women candidates but have also given due prominence to nominees of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Assembly polls scheduled for November 14 and November 20.
Though the Assembly seats reserved for tribals was reduced to 29 from 34 in the latest de-limitation exercise, both the BJP and the Congress fielded 32 tribal candidates each - one each from three general constituencies as well to woo the tribals, which constitute 32 per cent of the state's 21 million population.
Both the parties have also made conscious efforts to win over the OBCs, which form 52 per cent of the state's population, by fielding them from several general constituencies. Among the OBCs, Sahu and Kurmi communities enjoy considerable political clout in many districts.
While the BJP has earmarked 26 seats for OBCs, eight for the Vaishya community and seven for Brahmins, the Congress has given 21 seats to OBCs, eight to Brahmins, seven to Kshatriyas and five to Vaishyas.
Both parties have fielded 10 women candidates each, giving 11.11 per cent representation to women in their list of candidates for the 90-member Assembly.
The BJP, with caste equations in mind, has fielded OBC candidates against prominent Congress leaders, including state Congress working president Satyanarian Sharma from Raipur (Rural), a constituency in the state capital. The party has also not fielded any candidate from the Sikh and Muslim communities. Instead, it has replaced two sitting Sikh legislators with a woman and an upper caste candidate.
6 months ago