At a time when the jhuggi and unauthorised colonies have become the main battle zone for both the Congress and the BJP — especially, given the likelihood of a photo finish — efforts are simultaneously on within the two camps to woo the Capital’s Brahmin voters. The Brahmins have never played a dominant role in Delhi politics, despite the fact that they constitute 12 per cent to 14 per cent of the total votes and are in a position to influence the final result in at least 16 seats.
This arithmetic of votes has forced the two principal political parties to field a considerable number of candidates from the community — nine for the Congress and eight for the BJP. “Despite having a large population, larger than the combined population of Jats and Gujjars, the participation of city Brahmins in the local politics is not in the same proportion.
This is largely due to this fact that Brahmins in Delhi took to education early and grabbed Government jobs like schoolteachers, university lecturers, non-academic staff and lower management position in various Delhi Government undertakings along with Punjabi, who dominated in Delhi’s legal scene. They have preferred playing role of a political guru rather becoming a politician,” said SK Sharma, former secretary of Delhi legislative Assembly, adding the community has played a strong role in opinion making.
Prior to Sheila Dikshit taking over as the Chief Minister in 1998, there was no Brahmin CM in Delhi and politics was dominated either by Punjabi Khatris, Jats or Gujjars. As per statistics, Punjabi population is about seven per cent; Jat five per cent and Gujjars are at six per cent in the national Capital. It is noted that the Capital’s Brahmins are Gaur Brahmin. After migrating from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the last 20 to 30 years, a large number of Kanyakubja, Suryuparee,
Bhatt, Maithili, Sakaldiwiya, Sanadhya, Gauda, Tyagi, Bhumihar Brahmin settled in the national Capital. As per data, six Assembly seats have more than 20 per cent Brahmin voters. These seats include Babarpur, Krishna Nagar, laxmi Nagar, Rithala, Kirari and Badarpur. There are 10 seats, including Najafgarh, Matiala, Dwarka, Mundka, Tri Nagar, Seelampur, Ghonda, Mustafabad, Gandhi Nagar, Kondli (SC), which have 15 per cent Brahmin voters. Similarly, constituencies like Karawal Nagar, Rohini, Narela, Trilokpuri, Shalimar Bagh, Adarsh Nagar, Shakurbasti have 10 to 12 per cent Brahmin voters.
Keeping in view the sizeable number of Brahmin voters, the Congress has fielded nine Brahmin candidates for December 4 polls. The Brahmin candidates fielded by the Congress are Sheila Dikshit (New Delhi), Ramakant Goswami (Rajinder Nagar), Dr SC Vats (Shakurbasti), Vipin Sharma (Rohtas Nagar), Bheesham Sharma (Ghonda), Anil Bhardwaj (Tri Nagar), Bijender Dutt Sharma (Najafgarh), Mukesh Sharma (Uttam Nagar) and Vinay Mishra (Palam).
Similarly, the BJP-Akali Dal alliance has also fielded seven Brahmin candidates. They are Anil Sharma (RK Puram), Anil Jha (Kirari), Pawan Sharma (Uttam Nagar), Nakul Bhardwaj (Patparganj), OP Sharma (Vishwas Nagar), Naresh Gaur (Babarpur), and Shyam Sunder Sharma (Hari Nagar).