The Lok Sabha elections in the Ajmer division, comprising Ajmer, Bhilwara and Nagaur constituencies, could witness an interesting political battle with the traditional rivals, the BJP and the Congress, facing some competition from the newly formed Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLTP), led by Jat leader and MLA from Khinvsar (Nagaur) Hanuman Beniwal.
The RLP was floated months before the assembly elections in December 2018. It contested 57 assembly seats and won three. In Nagaur district, the party contested from five seats, won two (Khinvsar and Merta) and came second and third on two seats. The growing support of the party has the two major parties worried about a shift in their vote base, especially the Congress which traditionally has its strong hold in the district.
Country’s first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru had laid the foundation of panchayati raj from Nagaur in 1959. Mayo and Sophia colleges and Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) are situated in Ajmer. Bhilwara is known for textile industries.
The three LS seats comprise 24 assembly constituencies, of which the Congress won 10 in the last polls, BJP (11), Independents (2) and RLTP (1). In around a dozen assembly seats, mostly in Ajmer and Bhilwara, the BJP has won thrice or twice in the last three state elections.
“We will be fielding candidates in all 25 LS seats. Alliance is only possible with third front parties, and not with Congress and BJP,” said Beniwal.
In the last four parliamentary elections (1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014), the BJP won Ajmer and Bhilwara LS seats thrice; the Congress and BJP won Nagaur twice each.
The BJP, which got a big mandate in 2013 assembly polls, also swept all 25 LS seats in Rajasthan. In early 2018, the party lost two seats – Ajmer and Alwar — in bypolls, bringing its tally to 23. Congress candidate Raghu Sharma defeated BJP’s Ram Swaroop Lambha, son of late MP Sanwar Lal Jat, who had defeated state Congress chief Sachin Pilot.
BJP’s Ajmer district president (rural) Professor BP Saraswat said his party lost Ajmer LS bypoll but, barring two assembly seats, won others in the district in the last state polls. “Here, the voter is educated and critically looks at candidates. Ajmer and Bhilwara are BJP’s stronghold and because of PM Narendra Modi, the party is having an edge; Congress is in contest only if they field good candidates. The atmosphere is in favour of the BJP,” Saraswat said.
Political analyst Narayan Bareth said the Congress failed in Ajmer in assembly polls due to candidate selection, social engineering and infighting. “But now that their agenda is to make Rahul Gandhi the PM, Congressmen will not take any risk; infighting will be avoided as there will be accountability.”
Bareth said Bhilwara LS seat would witness a contest as minority and Dalit voters would support the Congress but urban and middle classes would remain with the BJP. “Bhilwara is communally sensitive and the Congress failed to address issues of minority, general category and OBC people; the results came accordingly. BJP’s urban support base was active and they even managed the caste equation.”
Bareth said Nagaur is important for the Congress as the district traditionally supports the party, though it failed to address issues of farming community and develop a new leadership, creating some disconnect. “Discontentment of Rajputs, Jats and Dalits with the previous government made them to vote for the Congress.”
Congress spokesperson Satyendra Singh Raghav said the pro-people schemes like unemployment allowance and loan waiver, started in the last two months, will give the Congress an edge in Lok Sabha elections. “People are aware and have seen how the BJP has failed on all fronts, be it inflation, corruption, demonetisation or GST,” Raghav said. “In 2014, people elected BJP from all 25 LS seats; 5 MPs became union ministers but none performed to benefit people of the state.”
He said traditionally people vote for the party which is in government as they expect development. “The regional parties, such as RLTP, will not have much impact in LS polls, as the election is not for Rajasthan but the country,” Raghav said.
Mar 18, 2019 14:30 IST
Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/lok-sabha-elections-2019-vote-split-by-hanuman-beniwal-s-party-in-ajmer-division-worries-bjp-congress/story-XHrnoevAfBvBYK60JxpiMJ.html