Like in the alphabet, in Uttar Pradesh politics, C precedes D: Caste before Development. And so, even as all the parties say that they are here for developing the country’s most populous state, their action on the ground paint them otherwise. Sample this: The Congress, which has been pushed to the sidelines of the state’s politics, has gone full throttle to regain its lost glory or at least come in reckoning by craftily balancing the caste matrix.
For now, it has appointed Sanjay Singh, a Thakur, to head the campaign committee for next year’s assembly elections; Sheila Dikshit, a Brahmin by marriage as its chief ministerial candidate and Raj Babbar from the backward caste as the state unit chief. The social engineering has been the brainchild of election strategist Prashant Kishor, who has successfully convinced the party top brass to play to the caste tune if it was not to be an also ran in a state that has been successfully tapped by regional parties on caste-based voting.