Rajasthan assembly polls: Bali has elected Rajput candidates for over 2 decades

An impenetrable Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fortress since 1993, the Bali assembly seat of Rajasthan has been electing a Rajput for more than two decades now.

This is energy minister Pushpendra Singh Ranawat’s fourth stint as an MLA from Bali. In 1993, BJP candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was elected from this constituency. He became the chief minister, but in 1998, BJP lost in Rajasthan. Though BJP lost, Shekhawat won in Bali, but he had to give up the seat as he was elected the vice-president of India. After the by-election, Ranawat was elected as the MLA.

Bali is the only assembly constituency in western Rajasthan, which has three municipalities and some village panchayats located in tribal areas of the Aravali hill range.

The constituency has around 95,000 SC/ST voters. There are also more than one lakh Rajput, Brahmin, Rajpurohit, Vaishya and other general class voters. Also, there are more than 70,000 OBC voters and around 15,000 minority voters. What’s interesting is that despite not having the largest vote bank, BJP candidates who have been winning since 1993 come from the Rajput community.

Political observer Amrit Lal Parihar said that even though Rajput candidates have been successful from this seat, this constituency cannot be tagged as Rajput dominated. Muslim and Mali candidates have won previous elections from here. The result of every election has been influenced by local factors. There are three towns in the assembly area and its voters decide the result.

Ratan Lal Chaudhary, the Congress candidate in the last elections, said this time there is anti-incumbency. “No development work has been carried out in the last four-and-a-half years. Now, with the polls months away, the construction of roads has started in some areas,” said Chaudhary.

“When the Congress government was in power in the state, Ranawat had demanded that Bali should be declared as a district. However, after becoming a minister in the BJP government, he has forgotten this demand. The condition of roads in the area is poor. Farmers face power shortage,” said Chaudhary.

BJP MLA Ranawat said that he has fulfilled most of the promises. “A water supply scheme worth Rs 550 crore has been approved for 224 villages. It will solve the drinking water problem in the next two years,” he said. He added that Rs 145 crore has been sanctioned to widen the Bali-Pindwara State Highway.

Ranawat said that efforts are on to declare Bali as a district.

First Published: Sep 18, 2018 15:21 IST

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