With the BSP contesting 197 of the state’s 200 seats, Congress sources admit that a victory is not possible without the support of Dalits.
WHEN AN upper caste mob went on the rampage on April 3, the day after a Bharat Bandh called by Dalits over what they said was a move to dilute the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act following a Supreme Court order, the homes of two Hindaun politicians were set ablaze.
Hindaun’s Congress candidate, Bharosi Lal Jatav, is yet to repair his house. His supporters say it is a testimony to the caste violence and want people to see it every day.
About 500 metres away, the other house has a fresh coat of paint and no reminders of that day. But the BJP chose not to nominate its owner, MLA Rajkumari Jatav, and opted for Manju Khairwal, the daughter of a former IAS officer.
With the Rajasthan elections just three days away, the only party event Rajkumari has attended in Hindaun was a rally addressed by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Monday. The Jatavs are the single-largest community in this SC-reserved seat and the MLA’s reluctance to campaign has left BJP workers grumbling.
“I am campaigning in the neighbouring Karauli constituency. All I can say is that we will know the effects on December 11 when the results are announced,” said Rajkumari. “She has spent most of her time in Karauli. She has attended one or two programmes here,” said Dileep Gupta, BJP’s Hindaun city president.