Rajasthan Elections / Struggle for Gurjar votes between BJP and Congress in Rajasthan - who will prevail?

Zoom News : Nov 24, 2023, 08:00 AM
Rajasthan Elections: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot targeted BJP on the statement given by PM Modi regarding Rajesh Pilot. He said that PM Modi was so upset with his defeat that he made late Rajesh Pilot an election issue. CM Gehlot accused PM Modi of trying to instigate the Gurjar community. There were 22 incidents of firing during BJP rule itself, in which many people of Gurjar community were killed. I even went to the BJP government and when I became the Chief Minister, I explained to them with brotherhood and love and gave them reservation. With what mouth are they talking about Gurjar community today?

Both Congress and BJP are eyeing the votes of the Gurjar community, for which efforts are being made to put each other in the anti-Gurjar dock. Not only this, this bet is being seen in view of securing 9 percent Gurjar vote, which has been the core vote bank of BJP before the 2018 elections. In 2018, due to Sachin Pilot being the state president of Congress and the possibility of becoming the Chief Minister, the Gurjar community voted outright in favor of Congress, the result of which was that not a single Gurjar of BJP could become an MLA.

When Congress returned to power in Rajasthan in 2018, the crown of Chief Minister was placed on Gehlot instead of Pilot. Sachin Pilot had to be satisfied with the post of Deputy CM, but due to his rebellious stance in 2020, he had to lose the post of Deputy CM and State President. Due to the intervention of the top Congress leadership, Sachin Pilot agreed and relations with Gehlot have also improved, but the way there has been rift between them for four and a half years.

BJP has now started capitalizing on the enmity between Gehlot and Pilot in the electoral arena and is trying to win back the trust of Gujjars by putting them in the anti-Congress dock. To maintain its strong hold on the Gujjars, Congress has put forward Sachin Pilot and is projecting him among the Gujjar community like in 2018 so that the resentment of the Gujjars can be removed. That is why everyone from Pilot to Gehlot is reminding the Gujjars of the wounds they suffered during BJP rule.

9 percent Gurjar votes and interference on 50 seats

The eye is on securing 9 percent Gurjar votes in the assembly elections in Rajasthan. Both BJP and Congress have their eyes fixed on the voters of Gurjar community. Gurjar castes are believed to have influence on 45 to 50 seats in Rajasthan. Gurjar community has dominance in 15 districts of the state. Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Tonk, Dausa, Kota, Bhilwara, Bundi, Jhalawar, Bandra, Bhilwara, Ajmer and Jhunjhunu districts are considered Gurjar dominated areas. Gurjar himself has the ability to win 20-22 seats in these districts or has the power to make others win.

What do the election figures of 2018 say?

A total of 8 MLAs from the Gurjar community won in the 2018 assembly elections, out of which 7 were on the Congress ticket and one candidate, Joginder Singh Awana, became a member of the assembly by winning on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket. After the merger of all BSP MLAs with Congress, there are 8 MLAs from Gurjar community in the assembly. Not even a single Gurjar candidate of BJP could become an MLA. In the 2018 assembly elections, BJP had given tickets to 9 candidates from Gurjar community and Congress had given tickets to 12 candidates from Gurjar community. This time BJP has given tickets to 10 Gurjar candidates while Congress has given tickets to 11 Gurjars.

Gurjars had turned the tables in 2018

A major factor in BJP's defeat in the 2018 elections was the significant Gurjar vote, which swung heavily in favor of the Congress. This shift in Gurjar support played a key role in the Congress winning 35 out of 39 seats in the Gurjar-Meena-dominated East-Central region of Rajasthan, leaving the BJP behind by just three seats. PM Modi Modi visited Devnarayan temple in Bhilwara, where many Gurjar devotees visit. Congress's Priyanka Gandhi had claimed that the PM had donated only Rs 21 to this temple, on which she received a show cause notice from the Election Commission after BJP raised objection.

Resentment between Gehlot and Pilot gave opportunity to BJP

The ongoing feud between Gehlot and Sachin has disappointed Gujjar voters, potentially opening the door for the BJP to woo the community. That is why PM Modi is now openly playing the Gurjar gamble. By mentioning Rajesh Pilot and Sachin Pilot, PM Modi is trying to portray Congress as anti-Gurjar. That is why not only Gehlot and Pilot, the entire Congress army has come down and is busy in telling that Congress is friendly to the Gujjars. Not only this, Priyanka Gandhi and Sachin Pilot held rallies in Gurjar belt to secure their support.

BJP fielded many Gurjar leaders in Rajasthan

BJP is making every effort to maintain its strong hold on the Gurjars. Many leaders of the community have been deployed in Rajasthan to woo Gurjar voters in favor of BJP. UP Rajya Sabha MP and Gurjar leader Surendra Nagar has been tasked with uniting the Gurjars in the eastern region, while Union minister Krishnapal Gurjar has been posted in Sawai Madhopur district. MP Ramesh Bidhuri has been appointed in-charge of Tonk district.

Now PM Modi himself has taken charge and on the pretext of Rajesh Pilot and Sachin Pilot, attempts are being made to break into the vote bank of Gujjars, while Congress is trying to control the damage by putting Sachin Pilot in front. In such a situation, it remains to be seen which side the Gurjar community will take?