Octogenarian Jat leader Paras Ram Maderna is fighting a battle with multi-organ failure on ventilator in Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur. But also gasping for breath is Jat politics in Rajasthan. Political analysts said that the farmer community which dominates around 60 assembly seats and 12 parliamentary constituencies has not produced a single leader in last 20 years to whom stalwarts like Maderna can pass on the baton.
“Jat politics is on the crossroads in Rajasthan. After the epoch of Maderna-Mirdha combine in western Rajasthan, Jat politics is now divided into regions and districts with no interconnections. With the death of Sis Ram Ola and Harji Ram Burdak recently, the isolated isles of Jat domination have also ended in the state. Fresh blood is urgently needed in Jat politics of the state which can take care of the community's interests as their predecessors,” Navin Jaiswal a senior journalist said.
New faces in Jat politics include Ajay Kilak, son of Ram Raghunath Chaudhary and currently minister of state for cooperatives in Rajasthan, MP Dushyant Singh and Jyoti Mirdha, Raghuvendra Mirdha, Divya Maderna, Rameshwar Dudi, Abhishek Matoria and Dr Priyanka, all of whom come from influential Jat families. Self-made leaders like Barmer MP Harish Chaudhary, Khimsar MLA Hanuman Beniwal and BJP state general secretary Satish Poonia are also names to reckon with. Currently 7 Lok Sabha MPs and 34 MLAs in the state assembly are Jats, 29 from the BJP and 5 from the Congress.
Political observers said that candidates fielded by both Congress and BJP from Nagaur, Pali, Barmer, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu seats in coming general election will give a fair idea about future of Jat politics in the state.
Bhavani Singh Deora, a senior journalist said, “Keeping head above water in a fast-changing political situation and keeping the flock together is going to be biggest challenge for the new leadership. Secondly the Jat community in Rajasthan is no longer a Congress vote bank. Well educated and suave leaders are the need of the hour. The scions of Jat political families offer good options.”
Besides, prominent Jat political families, Pawan Godara of Congress, Navin Pilaniya of NPP and leaders like former Suratgarh MLA Surja Ram Meel also jostle for space in Jat politics while leaders like Chandrabhan have not been able to find their roots on political ground. “Dushyant Singh, Abhishek Matoria, Kailash Chaudhary are young leaders in the BJP today and with proper care and training we hope to bring many more youngster in coming years in the BJP,” Satish Poonia, BJP general secretary said.