Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday address a public meeting in Churu, the Jat- and-farmer-dominated Shekhawati region.
Modi had kicked off the BJP’S Rajasthan Lok Sabha campaign from Tonk last week where he had hit out at the Congress government for failing to fulfil its promise of complete loan waiver for farmers. He also gave the new slogan ‘Modi hai toh Mumkin hai’.
Shekhwati comprises Sikar, Churu and Jhunjhunu districts which accounts for 21 seats. The belt was regarded as a Congress bastion but in the last election, the Congress won only four seats in the region.
The BJP is going all out to make the PM’S rally historic, asking the workers to ensure a large turnout as it is being seen as a battle of prestige for the party.
In 2014, the BJP had won all 25 Lok Sabha seats but in the face of a strong performance by the Congress in the assembly polls, the BJP is also fighting to save its dominance in the region.
In the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress staged a comeback, winning 14 seats. The BJP won only 5 seats in the region in the assembly elections as against 12 seats in 2013.
In the neighbouring Nagaur district which has 10 seats, the BJP won only two seats whereas it had won 9 in 2013. The Congress which was wiped out here in 2013 won 6 seats this time.
Sikar, Nagaur and Jhunjhunu are Jat dominated. The region saw farmers unrest during the BJP government . The BJP is trying to raise the issue of loan waiver but it has not had much resonance among the farmer community so far.
The region also had a large population of serving and ex-servicemen. Both BJP and Congress are keen to garner the votes of the defence personnel.
While the BJP government has been highlighting that it made the one rank, one pension a reality, the Congress government has announced hiked ex-gratia payments to families of defence personnel martyred in action.
During the assembly elections, Modi had campaigned in Sikar but that did not make much impact as the Congress won seven of eight seats while one went to an independent candidate.
Political analyst Ashfaque Kayamkhani says the farmers, Jats, Dalits and minority will go with the Congress.
Dalits and Muslims are upset with the BJP and will strongly back the Congress,
The BJP’S hopes mainly rest on the Rajputs, Brahmins and OBCS (other backward classes) and the party is also playing up the 10% EBC (economically backward class) reservation to consolidate its traditional vote bank, he says.
Feb 26, 2019 08:31 IST
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