Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018: Rajput anger against BJP subsides over Anandpal

Rajasthan assembly election 2018: Last year on June 24, gangster Anandpal Singh was killed in a police encounter in Malasar town of Churu district. Violent protests erupted in his village Sanvrad in which one person died. Political experts had said the Rajputs would make chief minister Vasundhara Raje pay a heavy political price for the encounter.

rajasthan elections Updated: Dec 07, 2018 09:52 IST
Jaykishan Sharma
Jaykishan Sharma
Hindustan Times, Nagaur
Rajasthan Election 2018,Rajasthan Election 2018 News,Rajasthan Constituency
Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018: Residence of of slain gangster Anandpal Singh . A group of Rajputs in Anandpal’s village said the BJP has pacified them by giving ticket to current MLA Manohar Singh, who is a Rajput.(HT Photo )

Most of the villagers in Sanvrad have laid the ‘ghost’ of dreaded gangster Anandpal Singh to rest, erased the memories of the past and moved on as Rajasthan votes for a new assembly on December 7.

Last year on June 24, Anandpal was killed in a police encounter in Malasar town of Churu district. Violent protests erupted in Sanvrad, Anandpal’s village, in which one person died and more than 30 were injured. The government had sent extra security forces and imposed curfew in the area to bring the situation under control.

But today the same village in Nagaur district presents a calmer picture and Anandpal is a thing of the past. Political experts had said the Rajputs would make chief minister Vasundhara Raje pay a heavy political price for the encounter.

Sanvrad is situated 107km east of Nagaur and comes under Ladnun assembly constituency. The village is divided into two areas. Rajputs and Brahmins live on one side and Meghwals and Valmikis on the other.

Instead of Rajputs, the Meghwal community looks angry with the BJP government as they believe that the encounter of Anandpal was fake, which gave some members of the Rajput community an opportunity to gain political mileage on the gangster’s corpse.

Read : Vasundhara Raje’s ‘inaccessible CM’ perception BJP’s biggest challenge in Rajasthan

On Thursday morning, a day before voting, 10 to 12 persons of Rajput community were sitting outside a general store. When the group was asked whether the Rajput anger against the BJP still prevails, they said the ruling party has pacified them by giving ticket to current MLA Manohar Singh, who is a Rajput.

Yogendra Singh (34), a government employee, said, “The encounter of Anandpal was unfortunate. Our entire community was against the BJP but they have listened to our demands and have ordered a CBI enquiry into the case. Also, ‘Thakur Sahab’ has a done a lot for the development of the village and that’s why in a meeting, we (Rajputs) have unanimously decided to vote for the BJP.”

Sixty-year-old Devraj Singh said the anger against the present government never erupted among the locals except for the family members of Anandpal. The anger was against the police administration. “Some people from outside came here and used our anger as a tool to further their political career,” he said.

Seven to eight people from the Meghwal community, who were having lunch at the home of Kanharam (25), said they are not going to vote for the BJP. Asked why, Gendamal said, “The current MLA doesn’t treat us as equals. He only listens to a few members of his community.”

Asked if the anger that erupted against the BJP after the encounter of Anandpal subsided, he said, “Anandpal was a great person. He used to help us in every problem. The encounter was fake and still we miss him. Because of his encounter, not only Dalits but the OBCs have distanced themselves from the BJP.”

Except for Anandpal ‘s uncle Bhagwan Singh (76) and aunt Dapu Kanwar (72), rest of the relatives of the gangster have either moved to Ladnun town or Jaipur.

Bhagwan said he and his wife don’t like the symbol of the BJP whose people, they alleged, killed their nephew in a fake encounter. “Many workers of the BJP came to our house seeking permission to stick their posters and flags at the roofs and gates of our houses. But we denied permission. We will give our vote after consulting Nirmala Kanwar, mother of Anandpal.”

Anandpal’ daughter Yogita Singh has has launched a campaign against the BJP. “Not only Rajputs but each community is miffed off with the BJP and the major reason is fake encounter of my father. My family will continue to campaign against the BJP till date it is defeated,” Yogita said.

Asked why Rajputs of Sanvrad are not backing her family, she said, “I have no idea about that. But I can tell you that my father had his fan following in every community, be it Dalits, Rajputs, Brahmins, Jats and Bishnois.”

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First Published: Dec 07, 2018 09:51 IST