Politics is gradually warming up in the eastern parts of Rajasthan, but there is still some time before it finally heats up in the Bharatpur division. The anxiety here is palpable. While aspiring candidates from Congress, BJP and other parties are busy getting their political equations right to ensure they get a ticket from the party, the voters are eagerly waiting for the final list of candidates to be declared.
The Bharatpur division is divided into four districts – Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur. Similar to most parts of the state, this region is also governed by caste politics. The 19 constituencies in the division have different caste equations that are largely decided by the mandate. Similarly, this region also has the dominance of two parties – Congress and the BJP – and either of these can take the lead here, barring the regions under the influence of Kirori Lal Meena.
BJP’s influence in the region is clear as it bagged 10 of the 19 seats in last elections; it won nine out of ten seats from two regions alone – Bharatpur and Dholpur. The Congress won only five seats. Out of these, Congress won three in Sawai Madhopur.
Currently, BJP has six of the seven seats, while Congress has one.
This time, however, a slight change in the political equation is expected. In Bharatpur, Congress may gain a slight edge as former MP Vishvendra Singh is expected to contest the election from here. Being a member of the erstwhile royal family, Singh has a strong hold over the region and especially over Jats. However, he still does not enjoy a strong backing from the remaining communities in the constituency. It is believed that this time as well, Singh will have a strong opponent in BJP leader Dr Digamber Singh, who is the sitting MLA from Deeg-Kumher.
Vishvendra Singh’s focus on coming to power in his constituency, however, may keep him from campaigning in other parts of the region for Congress.
In the recent times, Congress has become weak in the district due to grouping and this may create problems in finalizing candidates for the upcoming elections. However, Congress sources have hinted that names of candidates for Kaman, Deeg- Kumher and Weir are almost final, but the exercise is on for other seats of the district.
Though there are several other issues which might sway the voters, the Gopalgarh incident is expected to influence the entire district quite strongly. Mewat region constituencies, including Nagar and Kaman, will be most affected. Prevailing conditions suggest a complete polarization of votes in the region. Therefore, Congress could be at a loss. The most interesting contest however will be in Deeg-Kumher, where Vishvendra Singh will try to regain his constituency from Dr Digamber Singh, and BJP does not look ready to go down either.
Currently, BJP has three seats and one is with BSP. Dholpur has four Assembly seats, of which the Congress does not hold any. In fact, BJP has a stronghold over this district as it is the bastion of Vasundhara Raje, the party’s chief ministerial candidate. To BJP’s advantage, Congress remains divided between Banwari Lal Sharma and Pradhuman Singh’s groups. Both of them are known as ‘Kothi’ in the region and their in-fighting has definitely helped the BJP bag the larger share of votes. It seems like not much might rock the boat here.
Karauli & Sawai Madhopur
Currently, one seat is with BJP, one with BSP, one with Congress and one is with an independent candidate.
Currently, three seats are with Congress and one is with BSP.
In Karauli and Sawai Madhopur, the political scenario seems to be all set for a change. And the change might be heralded by none other than the Gurjar and Meena voters. Meena leader Kirori Lal Meena with his stronghold in the region will be detrimental to both Congress and the BJP.
However, there is a strong possibility that if the community unites under the leadership of Kirori Lal Meena, all the anti-Meena castes might unite to give the mainstream parties a fighting chance.
Thus, a complete polarization of the anti-Meena castes is possible in this election and some of the results could well be a sheer surprise.