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Ahead of assembly elections in Rajasthan, Pachpadra now a political epicentre in Marwar

The BJP and Congress have already held rallies in the town and the Rajput community is to organise one on September 22. Political observers believe that the rallies will decide the mood of the voters in the Marwar region.

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Sep 11, 2018 07:44 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times, Barmer
rajasthan assembly elections 2018,rajasthan polls,pachpadra
File photo of the foundation laying ceremony of the oil refinery at Pachpadra, Rajasthan. The BJP and the Congress held rallies in the town in early September, 2018, as the state gears up for assembly elections. (HT File Photo )

Pachpadra, a town in Rajasthan’s Marwar region, finds itself in the midst of political muscle flexing by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and also the Rajput community. The political parties held major rallies there earlier this month, while the Rajputs are gearing up for a massive gathering in two weeks time.

The rallies have made the town, till now better known for its salt mines, the epicentre of politics in the Marwar region.

The string of rallies began on September 2 when chief minister Vasundhara Raje organised her meeting here as part of ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’. Three days later on September 5, the Congress exhibited its strength in Marwar region by holding a public meeting of its ‘Sankalp Yatra’.

On September 22, Rajput community will organise ‘Swabhimaan Sammelan’ which will be led by BJP legislator Manvendra Singh, son of veteran leader Jaswant Singh.

Political observers believe that these rallies will decide the mood of the voters in the Marwar region.

Political analyst Vijay Sharma said that Manvendra’s ‘Swabhimaan Sammelan’ would decide the political fate of both parties. He said it is being speculated that if Manvendra joins the Congress, it may spoil the BJP’s game plan in the region.

The town came into political limelight five years ago when the then UPA government announced a mega oil refinery here and just ahead of the 2013 state assembly elections, the UPA chairperson laid the foundation stone of the oil refinery.

The town also witnessed a mega show of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January this year when he inaugurated the commencement of the refinery’s project work. However, Pachpadra saw political acrimony as both the BJP and the Congress took credit for the refinery.

A political analyst said that Pachpadra is suitable for holding rallies as it is centrally located for all the districts of Jodhpur division. On top of that, the BJP and the Congress also see the location as an advantage to croon over the refinery to woo voters.

Pachpadra is of interest from the psephology point of view.

It has a unique record of electing its representative from an alternate party in each election. Currently, Amararam Choudhary, revenue minister in Vasundhara cabinet, represents this assembly constituency.

This constituency is dominated by Kalbi community, which has approximately 25,000 voters. MLA Amararam Choudhary belongs to this community. Apart from that, 10,000 Muslims, 45,000 SC/STs, 20,000 Mali community members, 25,000 Brahmins, and 15,000 Rajputs form a part of its demography.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 12:17 IST