Mirdha vs Beniwal: Old rivals to fight it out in Jat stronghold | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Mirdha vs Beniwal: Old rivals to fight it out in Jat stronghold

ByHT Correspondent I Edited by Shilpa Ambardar, Jaipur
Apr 17, 2024 08:23 PM IST

Close fight in Nagaur seat between RLP's Hanuman Beniwal and BJP's Jyoti Mirdha, with Jat voter base divided. Beniwal allies with Congress, Mirdha with BJP.

The close fight between old rivals Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leader Hanuman Beniwal and BJP’s Jyoti Mirdha has turned the battle for Nagaur seat — considered a Jat stronghold— interesting.According to political experts, the contest revolves around two prominent figures from the same social stratum. With the Jat voter base divided, the other communities in OBC (other than Jat) holds the key to the seat’s outcome, said the experts.

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It’s a role reversal for both candidates in Nagaur.

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Beniwal’s RLP, which was earlier with the BJP walked out off the partnership in December 2020 over the contentious farm laws, has forged an alliance with the Congress (INDIA bloc) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In case of BJP’s Mirdha, she fought the 2019 elections as a Congress candidate against Beniwal and lost by at least 1,80,000 votes.

Political expert Manish Godha said: “Both the leaders in fray have their pros and cons. Beniwal is a popular face in the Jat community...associating with Congress he will get votes of the minority...he has been MLA four times and once a MP, and above that Congress has a strong presence in the region.”

“On the other hand, Mirdha has political legacy to back on... has been MP. She will be backed by strong booth management of the BJP and appeal of (Prime Minister) Modi’s face.”

Godha said it is likely that both the leaders could face internal sabotage as Mirdha changed party, and Beniwal his alliance.

Of the eight assembly seats in the parliamentary region, Congress has four, BJP two, and one each of RLP and independent.

A senior leader of the Congress said: “Beniwal is likely to secure the traditional vote bank of RLP and Congress, but his path to victory hinges significantly on garnering substantial support from the Jat community. If he manages to secure over 60% Jat vote, his prospects for victory wull improve. Generally, SC-ST and Muslim voters also lean towards the Congress vote bank.”

“If the Jat vote bank experiences a division, and Mirdha secures 50% votes from the community, her path to victory will become smoother. Typically, the OBC, upper caste, including Rajputs, and the youth are considered the core vote bank of the BJP. Therefore, Mirdha’s chances of success would be bolstered by consolidating support from these demographics,” said the leader.

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