Badnawar: Caste weighs heavily on the minds of Congress and BJP strategists as the state gears up for bypolls on November3.
In Badnawar, Congress has fielded Dr Abhishek Singh Rathore Tinku Bana, a Rajput. Though the BJP is yet to announce its candidate, possibility of fielding Rajyawardhan Singh Dattigaon is high.
By-elections in Badnawar assembly constituency was necessitated after the then sitting MLA and Nath Cabinet’s minister Rajyawardhan Singh Dattigaon switched over to the BJP along with 21 other MLAs.
Both Tinku Bana and Dattigaon are Rajput. Badnawar constituency has 28,000 Rajput voters. Their swing will decide the winner. In 2018, assembly polls, Dattigaon had defeated BJP’s stalwart Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat by massive 41,506 votes with Rajput and tribal votes playing a vital role.
Apart from Rajput, the constituency also has around 65,000 tribal voters. Both the Congress and the BJP are trying to woo these groups to ensure their candidate’s victory.
Badnawar assembly has 2.03 lakh voters. While 45,000 are general voters (including Rajput), backwards account for 46,000 and scheduled caste have 65,000 votes. Muslims voters strength is 18,000 and could play make or break role. Both parties are eying maximum vote share to ensure victory on this seat.
Congress party to change its candidate
In wake of the emerging situation and resentment among party workers, former home minister and Congress MLA from Rajpur Bala Bachchan told reporters that party may change its candidate in Badnawar in couple of days. However, he added that the Congress would stick to Rajput candidate. Stating that he has already discussed the issue with ex-CM and senior leader Kamal Nath, Bachchan urged workers to have patience.
Soon after Dattigaon switched loyalty to BJP, 15 Congress leaders were vying for ticket from the seat. However, party decision to field Tinku Bana has left them and their supporters upset.
Bitterness in tribals a worry for Dattigaon
While Tinku Bana is battling resentment in his party, Dattigaon is facing bitterness in tribal voters. Some of the tribals are upset over his decision to switch loyalty and are openly stating that how could they trust a man who back-stabbed his party.