While the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is busy wooing minorities, especially Muslims, ahead of the Delhi elections, the Capital’s Jat community, which forms a large chunk of the voting population in the city, claims it is being neglected.
Around 10% of all voters belong to the Jat community living in outer parts of Delhi and can decide the fate of candidates in at least 15 Assembly seats.
The Jat community, represented by the Jat Mittar Mandal Delhi, has written a letter to BJP leader and mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Azad Singh, asking him to take up their case to the national leadership, seeking greater representation in the Assembly elections.
“After the death of Sahib Singh Verma, the representation of the Jats in the BJP has gone down. With the community not getting adequate recognition and tickets during elections in Delhi, the community is feeling sidelined and ignored,” reads the memorandum sent to Singh, who is the brother of former chief minister Verma, a leader of the Jat community. The matter is now being discussed by senior BJP leaders, including Nitin Gadkari, who is the Delhi BJP’s minder.
According to senior leaders, of the 22 rural Assembly seats, 19 are dominated by the Jat community in areas such as Mundka, Nangloi, Bawana, Alipur, Najafgarh and Matiyala.
“When Verma was the chief minister, the BJP had won 12 of the 19 rural seats. The number has now come down to six in the past three elections. The Jat community is angry with the Congress over the Muzaffarnagar riots and they are willing to support the BJP in Delhi. The party now has an opportunity to increase their seats by giving tickets to members of the Jat community who feel neglected,” said a senior leader of the Jat community.
“Verma’s son Parvesh is also planning to contest the elections which will have a greater impact on the relationship between the BJP and the Jat community,” added the leader.
The memorandum also highlights the problems being faced by the Jat community who reside in rural areas. “There are about 370 villages in Delhi which lack basic facilities such as motorable roads, health and education facilities and suffer regular power cuts. Even in the villages that have government schools, there is a shortage of teachers which is having a direct impact on the education standard of the children living in the villages,” reads the letter.