New Delhi: Even as the Congress is eyeing for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2012, it seems to have failed to maintain a balance in Cabinet reshuffle as far as caste equation of the state politics is concerned.

In the Cabinet reshuffle there is only one Brahmin face whereas it has entirely neglected Rajputs by not giving a single representation to that segment of society. However, it has made an attempt to placate backwards and minorities by elevating the stature of the two ministers hailing from the largest north Indian state.

The induction of Rajiv Shukla, Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra, who comes from Uttar Pradesh as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister seems to be a tactic to woo its traditional Brahmin vote bank. Experts feel that the step has not just sent a message to the Brahmin voters in UP, but has also been used as an indication for the north Indians staying in Maharashtra.

To date, only Jitin Prasad was the Brahmin face from UP in the Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet, but Shukla’s inclusion would help the party in wooing the Brahmins who are getting disillusioned by the BSP.

By making Beni Prasad Verma as the Cabinet Minister for Steel, the Congress has made an attempt to placate the backward voters. Besides, it has also tried to appease the minority communities. And now the party has given representation to two Brahmins, two Vaishyas (Shri Prakash Jaiswal and Pradeep Jain Aaditya), two backwards (Beni and RPN Singh) and one Muslim (Salman Khursheed) from Uttar Pradesh.

The party has also made a bid to send a message of image building among the masses in the wake of 2G scam and blackmoney issue. After facing several embarrassments in the Supreme Court, the Law Ministry has been given to Salman Khursheed, who was earlier looking after Minority Affairs Ministry.

In view of the UP Assembly elections in 2012, the state Congress leaders however still feel that induction of one Rajput leader from the state was needed to connect with this particular community.

The ruling party in the state has done its best to strike a chord with the Rajputs by making atleast 10 MLCs from the community in the past four years besides having several MLAs and Zila Panchayat heads. Not only this, but in the last parliamentary polls, the BSP had given tickets to over a dozen Rajput candidates of which four were elected as an MPs.

Amidst such scenario, the party which has Rajput leaders like Harshwardhan Singh, Jagdambika Pal and Ratna Singh from the state virtually dismayed its leaders who shied away from making any comment.

JPN/Bureau