Constituency watch: Caste equations play key role, Rajputs dominant in Lohawat
Lohawat, which comes in Jodhpur district, is counted among the assembly constituencies where caste equations play important role. Rajput community voters dominate the constituency, followed by Vishnoi and Jat communities, which almost have equal votes.Updated: Oct 22, 2018 22:35 IST
The Lohawat assembly constituency was created after delimitation in 2008 including areas of Phalodi, Shergarh and Osian assembly constituencies.
In the two elections held after that — in 2008 and 2013 — BJP’S Gajendra Singh Khimsar has been elected from the seat on both the occasions. Khimsar is forest minister in the present state government, led by chief minister Vasundhara Raje and it is possible that he will seek the party ticket again in the coming elections.
Lohawat, which comes in Jodhpur district, is counted among the assembly constituencies where caste equations play important role. Rajput community voters dominate the constituency, followed by Vishnoi and Jat communities, which almost have equal votes. However, voters of Muslim, Kumhar and Suthar communities are capable of influencing the election results.
Khimsar, who hails from Nagaur district, was elected twice from the seat with the support of Rajputs. He was elected as the legislator earlier also in 2003 from the Nagaur assembly constituency. After the creation of Lohawat assembly constituency in 2008, Khimsar contested from the seat as an “external candidate”, but the voters did not disappoint him.
In both the elections, Khimsar defeated Malaram, a Vishnoi candidate, who fought as an Independent in 2008 and was later given the Congress ticket in 2013. After Malaram’s death, many candidates have been staking claim for the Congress ticket in the coming elections. Among them are candidates from Rajput, Jat and Vishnoi communities.
Lohawat is a desert area, where basic problems include saline water and lack of medical facilities. In the past, there was communal tension in the area after a conflict between two groups at Samrau village. Many houses and vehicles of one community were torched. The state government had announced a special package to offset the losses and restore social harmony in the area, but the issue is still vivid in the memory of local people, which may reflect in the coming elections.
District BJP president of Phalodi Revant Singh Rajpurohit said that all efforts were made to restore peace after the Samrau incident. “I do not think this (the Samrau incident) will be an issue in the elections,” he added. He said Khimsar has done a lot of development work. “Besides the facilities of water and electricity, two panchayat samities have been created during his tenure, so there is no antiincumbency in the area,” he said. However, district Congress committee (Jodhpur rural) general secretary Kishanaram Udani said, “The problem of saline water and lack of medical facilities are big issues. This time, mind of the voters is also changing and Congress will get the benefit of it.”