India Matters: Varanasi - Weaving the vote
January 13, 2012 | Duration: 17 min, 06 sec
Varanasi South is a constituency which reveals the fierce contest for the Ansari weavers vote. Once the entire stretch of the ghats of Benares were part of this constituency. It was a BJP seat won a record six times by a Banarasi of Bengali origin, Shyam Deo Roy Chaudhary or Dada. But for 2012 elections, delimitation has changed the shape of the constituency. A large part of the ghats are no longer with Varanasi South, but have gone to Varanasi Cantonment. While new mohallas, dominated by Ansari weavers has been added to Varanasi South doubling the Muslim population, now approximately 90,000 in number, it is a cause for unprecedented political churning and great elation for the Congress which is eager to convert their weaver packages into votes.