News Brief

Congress Plans Dalit Outreach In Uttar Pradesh Through Membership Drives, Conferences And Save Constitution Campaign

Nishtha Anushree

Jul 08, 2024, 10:31 AM | Updated 10:31 AM IST

Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi

Buoyed by its victories in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the Congress plans to reach out to Dalit voters in the state through district-level Dalit chaupals and divisional-level conferences.

Along with its 'Save the Constitution' campaign, the grand old party will discuss issues that the Dalits face. It will also recruit Dalits in the party through membership drives in all 403 Assembly seats.

"The divisional-level conferences are planned in Gorakhpur (Eastern UP), and three other places in eastern, central and western UP in the initial phase," UP Congress General Secretary Anil Yadav told The Hindu. 

This comes amid the eroding Dalit vote bank of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), as was apparent in the Lok Sabha elections where the party could not win a single seat and its vote bank shifted mostly to the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Congress believes that its 'Save the Constitution' campaign helped it to get substantial votes from the Dalit community in the Lok Sabha election. Its focus is on bringing back those Dalit voters who voted for it earlier.

"Traditionally Dalit community has been our core support base. We are hopeful that our outreach will consolidate the goodwill within the community," Yadav added.

The recent Lok Sabha elections witnessed the poorest BSP performance in UP since 1991, while the Congress performed its best since 2009 by winning six of the 17 seats it contested.

Dalits form an important part of the electorate as they constitute around 21 per cent of the state's population. They have been voting for the BSP and recently were seen inclined to the BJP, but this changed in this election.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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