Farmers' Issues Continue To Prevail In North Rajasthan

Farmers' Issues Continue To Prevail In North Rajasthan

Since it is a farmers' belt, the issues related to them are likely to prevail in the election

Manish GodhaUpdated: Saturday, October 14, 2023, 10:29 PM IST
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Jaipur: North Rajasthan, known for its heritage havelis in the Shekhawati region and Indira Gandhi Canal is a land of soldiers and farmers. The coming assembly election in this region is likely to be fought on the issues of controversial farm bills of the central government, agriculture loan waiver promised by the ruling Congress, and One Rank One Pension (OROP) for army personnel. These issues coupled with the strong existence of other parties on some seats are about to set a challenging election for both Congress and BJP.

The northern part of Rajasthan includes the districts of Alwar, Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Ganganagar. Ganganagar and Hanumangarh are called the rice bowl of Rajasthan. This region is bordered by Haryana and Punjab on one side and with Pakistan on the other side.

The seven districts have 50 assembly constituencies with dominance of communities like Jats, Muslims and Yadavs.

The results of the last three elections in these seven districts show that voters tend to vote differently in every election.

In 2008, Congress got 22 seats while BJP got 19 and Congress came to power. Similarly, in 2013, the BJP won 34 seats Congress got only seven and the BJP formed the government. Whereas in 2018, the region again voted for Congress who won 27 seats while BJP got only 14 and Congress got back to power.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the trend continues and voters vote for a change or a different picture will emerge. Senior journalist and political analyst of the region Mangesh Koushik believes that the trend of voting for change is likely to continue in the region but candidate selection is an important factor. 'It seems that people will vote for a change but it is quite early to say anything as both the parties are facing internal conflicts and considering this candidate selection will play a major role,' said Koushik.

The issues

Since it is a farmers' belt, the issues related to them are likely to prevail in the election. The controversial farm bills of the central government may pose a challenge for the BJP. This was the only region in the state where the protests were seen against the farm bills. The BJP leaders had to face strong protests from farmers and though the central government has withdrawn the bills the Congress and other parties like Aam Admi Party and CPM are continuously attacking the BJP and not letting the farmers forget it.

On the other hand, the promise of agriculture loan waiver made by the ruling Congress is a matter of concern for the party as only the loans of co-operatives were waived and the BJP is making it an issue here. A farmer allegedly committed suicide on this issue in Ganganagar last year and the BJP caught the issue to counter Congress.

Apart from farmers, this is a land of soldiers also and implementation of OROP is a big relief for BJP which is expecting good support from army personnel families in fulfilling this long pending demand.

The district of Alwar has some other issues such as law and order and communal politics. The Mevat region of the district dominated by Muslims was in the headlines for incidents of alleged mob lynching and is an emerging hub of cybercrime.

Left parties, RLP and Aam Aadmi Party

The strong existence of other parties is also making it an interesting battlefield for elections. Left parties and Aam Aadmi Party are active in districts like Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Hanumangarh and Gangaganar

The Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) has existed in this region for decades. The party tends to have one or two seats in every election. The party contested 28 seats in the last election and got two seats. This time the party is part of the opposition alliance INDIA but is all set to contest the election in the state.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which is going to contest elections on 200 seats in Rajasthan this time, is also focusing on the Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts adjoining Punjab where the party is in power.

At the same time, there is also a challenge from Hanuman Beniwal's party RLP which has now distanced itself from the BJP and has resulted in losses to the BJP in the by-elections held in the last five years.

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