India, Politics: Ritesh Pandey, Uttar Pradesh Elections

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Minister of Legislative Assembly, Ritesh Pandey, 30, enjoys the poetry of a local as he has lunch with villagers after campaigning door-to-door in a Dalit (the lowest Hindu caste) village in Ajanpara, Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India, on 21st January, 2012. Returning 1.5 years ago after almost 10 years abroad, Pandey is contesting on behalf of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a party that is based on its appeal to Dalit voters. Party leader Mayawati, herself a Dalit, has recently been giving out more tickets to muslims and high caste candidates in an attempt to woo a larger spectrum of voters in Uttar Pradesh, a Bellwether state. Photo by Suzanne Lee for The National (online byline: Photo by Szu for The National)