New Delhi: Months after losing grip over the state government, the BJP has made a spectacular comeback in the desert state of Rajasthan as it succesfully reached out to influential communities like Gujjars, Jats and Rajputs. The party is headed for a clean sweep in the state and it is felt that several influential communities like the Gujjars and Jats have deserted the Congress while the Rajputs have thrown their weight behind the BJP in these Lok Sabha polls.
BJP sources stated that special efforts were made to reach out to communties that had been feeling alienated from the party during the Vasundhara Raje regime rule in the state. The Gujjars, who had backed the Congress in the 2018 Assembly polls, are understood to have deserted the party and backed the BJP this time around. Another such community that was wooed by the party is the Jats. The Bharatiya Janata Party joined hands with Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party to win the influential Jat community in the state. Hanuman Beniwal contested from the Nagaur Lok Sabha seat against Congress’ Jyoti Mirdha. Jats are believed to have considerable influence in at least seven out of 25 Lok Sabha seats, with a sizable Jat population.
These seats include that of Sikar, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jhunjhunu and Nagaur. Mr Beniwal also campaigned for the party in those belts of Rajasthan where there is considerable Jat voter base.
Fielding Diya Kumari from Rajsamand was an attempt by the party to reach out to the influential Rajput voters in the state. BJP voters by tradition, Rajasthan’s Rajputs had reportedly been miffed with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje over a host of issues, beginning with the denial of candidature to former union minister Jaswant Singh in 2014 and encounter of alleged gangster Anand Pal Singh. Deploying Kumari to soothe the Rajputs was a last-minute strategy devised by the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, sources said.
The community is considered powerful in Rajasthan despite comprising less than 10 per cent of its population, on account of its vast land and commercial interests. The community has the power to influence the voting outcome in at least half of the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
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