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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Rajputs warn of ‘remove BJP’ stir in Rajasthan

For a state where caste and community are the cornerstones of votebank politics, task seems to be cut out for Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government ahead of the assembly polls scheduled in Rajasthan later this year.

jaipur Updated: May 08, 2018 22:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje.(HT Photo)
         

For a state where caste and community are the cornerstones of votebank politics, task seems to be cut out for Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government ahead of the assembly polls scheduled in Rajasthan later this year.

Already facing backlash from Dalit community, the BJP is set for tough times ahead as at least two other communities — Rajputs and Gujjars — are once again planning against the government. Another community, Jats, is also unhappy with the government.

In a meeting held on Monday in Sikar, the Rajput community leaders have decided to launch ‘BJP hatao, Rajasthan bachao’ (remove BJP, save Rajasthan) campaign from June 3. The community is upset with the state government for not paying heed to its various demands and also for imposing urban development tax on Rajput Sabha Bhawan in Jaipur.

Rajput Sabha leaders were critical of the state government saying it had not taken any steps to address the concerns raised by the community. Rajput Sabha was at the forefront of the Padmavati agitation held across the state earlier this year.

Its president Giriraj Singh Lotwara said that the community has not faced such issues in the 70 years of the Congress rule that it has faced in the past four years of BJP government. He said the agreement inked in the Anandpal encounter case has not been followed. Also, the urban development tax was imposed for the first time on Rajput Sabha Bhawan.

Ahead of the by-elections to two parliamentary and one assembly seats in January, Rajput organisations had announced their support to the Congress and some community leaders had also campaigned for the Opposition candidates on all three seats. The Congress had won the three bypolls.

The Gujjar community members too have warned of agitation from May 15 unless the government fulfils their demand of 5 per cent reservation in government educational institutes and jobs under ‘special backward classes’ which, they said, should be within 50 per cent overall quota approved by the Supreme Court.

In December 2017, the state government had issued a notification providing 1 per cent reservation to Gujjar and four other backward communities, taking the total quota in Rajasthan to 50 per cent. However, the Gujjars are not satisfied with 1 per cent reservation.

The Jat peasantry in the Shekhawati belt, meanwhile, is upset with the state government for not keeping the promises made in September 2017 when they had called off a massive agitation. The All India Kisan Sabha affiliated to CPI (M) is planning another agitation.

The government is yet to reach out to the communities but has announced sops for rural regions.