Elections

In Nagaur, Hanuman Beniwal tries to break Congress’ Jat equation

AM Jigeesh Nagaur | Updated on May 01, 2019 Published on May 01, 2019

The BJP is trying to make most of the affinity young Jat voters have for Hanuman Beniwal, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leader and MLA from Khinvsar, by fielding him against former MP Jyoti Mirdha in Nagaur.

Though social arithmetic, caste combinations and the farmers’ unrest stand in favour of the Congress, the BJP is trying hard to bring the debate around to allegations that Mirdha is an outsider and she does not have the support of the family of Ram Niwas Mirdha and Nathuram Mirdha — the iconic leaders of Rajasthan.

The Congress was also in touch with Beniwal, who was in the BJP till 2013, but the party was not keen to field him from Nagaur, a seat held by the Congress for long since the first election.

Both Nathuram Mirdha and Ram Niwas Mirdha have represented the constituency for the Congress. The party lost it in 2014 to CR Chaudhary of the BJP during the ‘Modi wave’.

Tapping on differences

Now, the Congress is pegging its hopes on 4.5 lakh Muslim votes and about five lakh Dalit votes in the constituency. It is also trying to tap the differences between Beniwal and the two-lakh strong Rajput voters.

“Rajputs are unhappy with Beniwal. He is yet another jumlebaz (fake) like Modi. He has been shifting sides and does not have credibility among Jats, only a few youngsters are supporting him,” according to Ram Chander, a Congress worker and a farmer belonging to Jat community. He believes that the the Mirdha families not supporting Jyoti Mirdha will only be good for her.

Livelihood issues

“The Modi government failed to fulfil the promises he made in 2014, including a better procurement price for our crops. The water here is contaminated with fluoride. Only an educated person like Jyoti Mirdha will be able to raise our issues in Parliament,” says Babu Lal, another senior farmer of the region.

But for Beniwal, youngsters’ support is dwindling. “The loan waiver offered by the Congress government was full of riders. None of us have got the benefit. We are voting for Beniwal and Modi, who will take care of the needs of farmers,” said Ghamda Ram of Khinvsar.

The BJP hopes the number of Jat votes going to the Congress will be compensated with Dalit votes that have added to the BJP kitty recently. Beniwal apparently has come to an understanding with Rajput leaders of the BJP for securing the upper caste votes.

Muslim voters are almost 100 per cent with Mirdha. “She has done many things for us when she was a MP between 2009 and 2014,” said Shaukat Ali, an influential Congressman in Basni panchayat.

Naveen Godara, a businessman, is not sure of the Congress’ chances. “Both the families of Mirdhas’ are not helping her. The Congress made a mistake by fielding her. Had they fielded Harender Mirdha (son of Ram Niwas Mirdha), it would have been a cakewalk for the Congress. Now, they are dependent only on Muslim votes. If the month of Ramzan starts on May 6 — the polling day — it will be difficult for the Congress to ensure all the Muslim votes,” Godara said.

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Published on May 01, 2019
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