KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ignored scheduled castes or Dalit Hindus, who make up 80 percent of approximately 8 million Pakistani Hindus, by nominating only two scheduled caste candidates on the seats reserved for minorities in Sindh. Five seats were given to the upper caste Hindus, who make up only 20 percent of Pakistani Hindus and two seats, were given to Christian candidates for the upcoming general elections 2018.According to the list that PPP finalized for minority- non-Muslim seats, only two Dalit candidates Surendar Valasai and Poonjo Mal Bheel who left MQM and joined PPP, were given reserved seats.Five upper caste Hindus including Rana Hameer Singh, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, who has remained provincial minister for last two tenures, Lal Chand Ukrai, former minister for Minority Affairs, Mohan Lal Kohistani and Roshan Lal were given reserved seats. While for two seats were given to Christians including Anthony Naveed and Naveed Bhatti. Dr Khatoo Mal Jeevan, a scheduled caste leader and a diehard PPP worker, who fought election in 1988 when no one was willing to contest election against powerful Arbab family of Tharparkar, was no also not given ticket to contest on the general or the reserved seat.Talking to Daily Times over telephone Dr Jeevan said that he accepted the decision of the part leadership to not offer him a ticket. PPP leadership also gave party tickets to two Upper Caste Hindu candidates. Former minister Gianchand Isarani was given a ticket on PS-81 (Jamshoro-II) while a close friend of Asif Ali Zardari, Hari Ram Kishori Lal was given a ticket on PS-47 (Mirpurkhas-I). Both the candidates will contest the elections on general seat.PPP leadership is considering issuing a ticket for the general seat to Mahesh Malani from PS-56 Tharparkar but his nomination remains unconfirmed.After not getting party tickets, around six dalit women and six male candidates filed nominations to contest elections on general seats.Hindu leaders claimed that around 80 percent of approximately 8 million Pakistani Hindus were scheduled caste or Dalits Hindus, but despite that PPP ignored them in the distribution of seats in Sindh.“Scheduled caste or Dalits Hindus are in majority but despite that PPP is not issuing party tickets to them on general or reserved seats,” said Govind Ram, president Pakistan Hindu Sabha (PHS), a leading Pakistani Hindu organization.Govind Ram added that Upper Caste Hindus were paying money to buy the seats.However, PPP denied such allegations and said that PPP had always given priority to Dalit Hindus.“Recently PPP nominated a Dalit woman Kirshana Kohli on senate seat. Another Dalit Engineer Gianchand was also given senate seat and there are other leader who might be accommodated,” said Surendar Valasai, the in-charge of the media cell at Bilawal House.According to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) report for the elections 2018, there are 2.99 million voters that belong to the religious minorities in Pakistan. In 2013 election there were 2.77 million voters from religious minorities.Hindus are the biggest religious minority with 1.49 million votes,. The Hindu vote makes up almost half of the total non-Muslim vote in Pakistan. Majority of Pakistani Hindus live in Sindh and ECP’s data reveals that just in Sindh province there are 1.39 million Hindu voters.Published in Daily Times, June 13th 2018.