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Despite 'Modi wave', BJP still playing caste politics to win in Rajasthan? Despite 'Modi wave', BJP still playing caste politics to win in Rajasthan?

Apr-15-2014 | 0 Comments


JODHPUR: High on riding the much hyped "Modi wave", BJP is not willing to take any chances in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Call it the desperation of the BJP or a lesson learnt from the previous elections, the party has roped in candidates in three constituencies of Marwar from the dominating communities post-delimitation in Jodhpur, Barmer and Pali.

Post delimitation, these three constituencies have been subjected to changed cast-equations and assimilating these changes, Congress had fielded candidates to suit the changed caste equations.

"As a result, the Congress swept all the three constituencies on account of its move and since BJP failed to adapt to these changes, it lost all the three constituencies in the previous election," said Mahendra Pratap Singh Choudhary, a former Jodhpur zila parishad member.

"The move of Congress established the caste recognition of these three seats with their respective caste domination, which the BJP has recognised only now," he said, adding that the Congress enjoyed the benefit of the polarized community votes in the previous election, a move, which the BJP has imitated now out of compulsion in order to break into the dominating castes.

It may be recalled that Jodhpur turned a Rajput dominant seat post delimitation with the inclusion of three constituencies - Shergarh, Lohawat and Pokhran. With the inclusion of Bhopalgarh, Bilara and Osian, Pali became Jat dominant and so is Barmer after the exclusion of Shergarh and Pokhran.

Keeping the changes in mind, Congress fielded Chandresh Kumari Katoch in Jodhpur, Harish Choudhary in Barmer and Badri Ram Jakhar unlike BJP which fielded Jaswant Singh Bishnoi from Jodhpur, Manvendra Singh Jasol from Barmer and Pushp Jain from Pali in the last election. All BJP lost to the respective Congress candidates.

As against this, the two constituencies of Marwar i.e., Jalore and Nagaur, which do not have any shift in the caste equations maintaining their Kalbi and Jat dominant status, both the parties fielded candidates accordingly. Of these two, Jalore went to BJP and Nagaur was bagged by Congress.

Congress spokesperson Ajay Trivedi said that his party's move coupled with the desperation of the BJP in itself was enough to prove that there was nothing like "Modi wave".

"Had it been there, the BJP would not have exhibited the desperation to rope in candidates keeping the caste equations in mind and chief minister Vasundhara Raje would not have to worry or warn its leaders and MLAs to ensure favourable results," he said.

On the other hand, a BJP insider said it should not be linked with the "Modi wave", which was very much there. "It is a fight, where you cannot afford to leave any lose end. A fight is a fight until it reaches the result and that is what we are doing," he added.

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