Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress in weak position, says RLP’s Hanuman Beniwal
With the Congress failing to reach an understanding with Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party in the Lok Sabha polls, the Jat leader on Friday criticised the Congress, saying it was in a weak position.
Beniwal also hit out at chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav and former Congress MP Jyoti Mirdha, saying neither would win their seats. The Congress announced names of 19 candidates in Rajasthan on Thursday night, including those of Vaibhav from Jodhpur, Mirdha from Nagaur and BJP rebel Manvendra Singh from Barmer.
Beniwal said Jats have an influence on 17 seats in Marwar and their impact will be seen in the elections.
Prior to the announcement of the list, there had been speculation about a possible alliance between the Congress and Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP). There were reports that Beniwal was demanding the Nagaur and Barmer seats, among others.
Beniwal’s meetings with Gehlot, of whom he had been critical, gave rise to speculation that Gehlot was in favour of an understanding with Beniwal hoping that he would swing Jat votes in Vaibhav’s favour.
Asked about his meetings with Gehlot, Beniwal claimed it was not with regard to the elections but to ask about his health. Gehlot was operated upon for hernia last month.
Beniwal denied that he had wanted a tie-up and said the offer had come from the Congress. “Why should I want a tie-up? Congress is in a weak position. They gave the proposal of a tie-up. My motive is to strengthen the RLP.”
He said he had demanded 5-7 seats from the Congress where candidates would contest on RLP party symbol but they didn’t agree.
Beniwal said he is now looking at a tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Tribal Party and the CPI.
He has said his party will field candidates on all 25 Lok Sabha seats. Beniwal had fielded 58 candidates in the assembly polls but had won only three seats – Khinvsar and Merta in Nagaur district and Bhopalgarh in Jodhpur district.