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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Haryana Assembly Elections 2019: BJP, Congress field fewer Jats for 2019 polls

Caste arithmetic has remained a key influencer of Haryana elections. Both the Congress and the BJP have fielded less number of Jat candidates in 2019 state polls. Congress has also cut down on the number of Punjabi candidates.

haryana Updated: Oct 05, 2019 14:17 IST
Hitender Rao
Hitender Rao
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Jats account for about 25 per cent of the state’s population and can influence about 40 assembly seats in Haryana, say experts.
Jats account for about 25 per cent of the state’s population and can influence about 40 assembly seats in Haryana, say experts.(HT PHOTO/File)
         

The ruling BJP in Haryana led by a non-Jat chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar has fielded less Jats and more non-Jats compared to the 2014 state assembly polls. Even the Congress has marginally reduced the number of Jat candidates and improved representation for other castes.

The saffron party has given 19 tickets to Jats this time compared to 24 in the last state polls. In other communities, the BJP has fielded one Jat Sikh, nine Punjabis, eight from Vaish community, one Bishnoi, eight Brahmins, six Ahirs, six Gujjars, two Meos, six from the backward classes, four Rajputs, two Rors and 18 scheduled castes.

In 2014 polls, the BJP had given tickets to 24 Jats, one Jat Sikh, nine Punjabis, eight Vaish, nine Brahmins, six Ahirs, four Gujjars, two Meos, five from backward class, two Rors and three Rajputs.

So this time the BJP increased the number of tickets for Gujjars, Rajputs, Bishnois and backward classes at the cost of Jat candidates. The assembly seats where Jats were denied a ticket this time are Rai (gone to a Brahmin), Baroda (Brahmin), Jind (Punjabi), Hansi (Punjabi) and Nalwa (BC). In the 2014 assembly polls, only six Jat candidates from the BJP could make it to Vidhan Sabha as the party rode to power on the basis of its penetration in the non Jat votebank.

Watch l Haryana assembly polls: Key issues on which election will be fought

 

Caste arithmetic has remained a key influencer of Haryana elections. The Congress which gave 28 tickets to Jats in 2014 assembly polls has fielded 26 jats this time.

It has given tickets to six Ahirs, six Gujjars, five from Vaish community, five Brahmins, four Punjabis, three Rajputs, six Muslims, three Jat Sikhs, two Bishnois, six from backward classes and 17 scheduled caste candidates. However not a single candidate from Ror community which has considerable influence in a number of northern Haryana seats was given a party ticket.

The Congress in 2014 had given tickets to 28 Jats, eight Punjabis, five from Vaish community, five Brahmins, three Jat Sikhs, four Muslims, eight Gujjars, six Ahirs, four from backward classes, one Rajput, one Ror and 17 scheduled castes.

While the Congress has increased the number of tickets for backward classes, Rajputs and Bishnois, the grand old party has reduced the number of tickets for Punjabis to four from eight in 2014. The probable reason could be the consolidation of Punjabis in favour of BJP’s Punjabi chief minister, ML Khattar.

Caste mathematics

As per ballpark statistics, Jats account for about 25 per cent of the state’s population. the Punjabis for about 8 per cent, Brahmins 7.5 per cent, Ahirs 5.14 per cent, Vaish 5 per cent, Gujjars 3.35 per cent, Jat Sikhs 4 per cent, Rajputs 3.4 per cent, Sainis 2.9 per cent, Kumhars 2.7 per cent, Meos and Muslims are about 3.8 per cent, Rors 1.1 per cent, Bishnoi 0.7 per cent.

The Scheduled Castes, which include Chamar, Balmiki, Dhanak, Khatik constitute about 21 per cent of the population. Political analysts say that Jat voters have the potential to influence poll outcome in about 40 assembly constituencies, including 12 reserve seats. The Ahirs play a decisive role in about 7-9 assembly seats.