Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Alwar, contest between a Mahant, ex-royal and businessman
The Lok Sabha election in Alwar is set to be a contest between a sanyasi (hermit) and a raja (king).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Mahant Balak Nath is taking on scion of erstwhile rulers of Alwar Jitendra Singh, who was an MP from here in 2009. In 2014, Balak Nath’s guru Mahant Chand Nath defeated Singh by over 200,000 votes.
After the death of Chand Nath in September 2017, a by poll was held in February 2018 in which BJP’S Jaswant Yadav lost to Congress’s Dr Karan Singh Yadav.
In this election, the BJP has fielded Chand Nath’s follower Balak Nath, who is his heir in the Rohtak-based Asthal Bohar Math. Congress has nominated former Union minister Jitendra Singh as its candidate from Alwar. Balak Nath, born a Yadav in Behror tehsil of Alwar, shifted to Rohtak after the death of his guru Chand Nath. The 35-year-old is making his electoral debut against Singh, who has been two-time MLA and an MP.
The battle between these two was supposed to be a photo finish but BSP has made this a three-way contest by fielding Imran Khan, a civil engineer and owner of a construction company in Bhiwadi, as its candidate.
“The fate of the Congress candidate will be depend on the extent to which the BSP candidate can make a dent into the Meo and SC voters which traditionally go to the Congress kitty,” said political analyst HS Goyal.
As far as political equation in Alwar is concerned for the last 20 years, the battle has been between Yadavs and non-Yadavs. From 1996 till now, the BJP has fielded a Yadav candidate seven out of nine times but managed to win only twice. In 1999, Dr Jaswant Singh Yadav won due to an “NDA wave” and in 2014 Mahant Chand Nath rode on the “Modi wave” and emerged victorious.
Congress gave tickets to Yadav candidates three times during the same duration. While all the three Yadavs from Congress won, non-Yadav candidate also won four of six times they got tickets.
This time also, when Congress named Singh, a non-Yadav, as its candidate, BJP was prompt to field a Yadav .
After delimitation in 2008, Meo-dominated area of Ramgarh and Lakshmangarh came in to Alwar constituency, while Brahmin-dominated Thanagazi went in to Dausa parliamentary seat.
Currently, three of the eight assembly seats — Alwar Rural, Rajgarh-lakshmangarh and Ramgarh — are occupied by Congress, two — Tijara and Kishangarh Bas — by BSP, Alwar city and Mundawar by BJP and an independent holds Behror. As far as caste factor is concerned, over three lakh votes come from Yadav, Meo and scheduled castes (SC). Brahmin, Jats, Meenas and Sainis are all in good numbers.
After Congress came to power, Singh got elevated to the most powerful party leader in the district. People were seen praising him and reminiscing the developmental work he did during his tenure as an MP, while apart from the political inexperience, the biggest drawback of Balak Nath is that his predecessor Chand Nath, after being victorious due to the “Modi wave” in 2014 did not visit his constituency at all due to illness and did no developmental work in Alwar.