Candidate choice, neglect of local issues led to BJP’s defeat in Alwar

The Congress won all the three by-elections to Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats, and Mandalgarh assembly constituency in Rajasthan.

jaipur Updated: Feb 04, 2018 22:08 IST
Devendra Bhardwaj
Devendra Bhardwaj
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Dr Jaswant Singh Yadav,Rajasthan news,Bypolls
Supporters leave the BJP offoce in Jaipur even as counting for bypolls at two Lok Sabha seats and one Assembly seat was on. (Himanshu Vyas /HT Photo)

The BJP’s candidate choice, lack of connect with people’s expectations at the ground level and non-performance of MLAs were among the factors that led to the party’s defeat in the Alwar Lok Sabha by-election, punching holes in its claims about a strong organisation right from the booth level, experts and people said.

The Congress won all the three by-elections to Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats, and Mandalgarh assembly constituency in Rajasthan.

Candidature of Dr Jaswant Singh Yadav, a state minister, diminished victory chances of the BJP that was already battling anti-incumbency, analysts said. Political analyst Hari Shankar Goyal said, “The record of Jaswant Yadav has not been bright; there have been many question marks over his deeds earlier. But Dr Karan Singh Yadav, the Congress candidate, carries a clean image and people seem to have liked him.”

After Congress announced Karan Yadav as its candidate, the BJP fielded a Yadav candidate, but the decision did not go down with other castes. “When the BJP candidate visited villages, people asked him why he was contesting a parliamentary election when he was already a minister in the state,” said Manohar Lal Yadav of Balluvas village in Mundawar tehsil.

He said Yadavs felt that they would benefit by having an MP and a minister. “This was the reason why Yadavs voted for the Congress candidate.”

At some meetings, BJP MLAs faced people’s anger and protests because of their non-performance. CM Vasundhara Raje had kept the Alwar city BJP MLA out of her road show, sensing people’s opposition towards him.

The Congress took lead in all 8 assembly segments though the BJP has seven MLAs in Alwar. Jaswant Yadav faced defeat in Behror, his own constituency, by 23,000 votes.

The CM started conducted Jan Samvad programmes in Alwar from November. The selection of people for the programmes was left to the local MLAs and this proved to be a problem in getting right feedback, villagers said.

Women blocked NH 8 in Behror when they were not allowed to speak to the CM about water problem. In Alwar city, many BJP leaders were prevented from attending Jan Samvad programmes as they were not in agreement with the MLA. Later, they were allowed after state BJP president Ashok Parnami intervened.

The BJP did not focus on local issues during the campaign, but the Congress talked about development works in Alwar carried out by former MP Jitendra Singh. Issues like ESI Medical college, Chambal water, mini secretariat and Sainik School were raised by Congress and this struck a chord with the people of Alwar, villagers said.

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 22:08 IST