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Marwar sees Jat consolidation in Congress favour

Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s meeting in the Beniwal bastion, Marwar’s two politically significant familes joined the Congress.

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    To counter the political clout of Hanuman Beniwal in the Marwar region, the Congress has wooed the Jat political heavyweights. During Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s meeting in the Beniwal bastion, Marwar’s two politically significant familes joined the Congress.

    Apart from this, BJP leader Narayanaram Beda also switched over to Congress further consolidating the party’s positon among the Jats. Nagaur’s former district head Bindu Chaudhary (daughter of Ram Raghunath Chaudhary), Vijay Poonia and his wife Usha Poonia joined the Congress making the party stronger in Marwar, especially in Jodhpur and Nagaur.

    This new political realignment will definetely going to hurt Beniwal as after years both these families will be seen on one platform. Nagaur’s politics has been dominated for decades by the Mirdha family, the Gauri Poonia family and the Ram Raghunath family. Because of their political rivalry they all went in different directions. Except for the Mirdha family, the other two families moved from the Congress to the BJP.  Four-time Congress MLA Gauri Poonia’s son Vijay Poonia and his wife Usha had joined the BJP because of the growing domination of the Mirdha family in Congress.

    Usha Poonia, a minister in Raje’s cabinet, was denied ticket in 2008, in favour of Hanuman Beniwal. Poonia family’s resentment with the BJP started on this issue and recently both husband-wife quit the BJP to cross over to Congress.

    Two other prominent families - Ram Raghunath Chaudhary and Richpal Mirdha - hail from Degana assembly constituency. After the demise of Chaudhary, his daughter Bindu Chaudhary joined the BJP. In 2008 BJP gave her brother Ajay Kilak ticket from Degana, who defeated Richpal Mirdha. 

    It is being said that  Bindu and Vijay Punia’s return is aimed at cutting Beniwal’s growing clout. By strengthening the hands of the Congress, these families are also strengthening their hold in Nagaur. Apart from this, joining the Congress by Narayan Ram Beda will affect Jat dominated Bhopalgarh, Osia and Luni assembly seats of Jodhpur.  These developments have added to the problems of the BJP as earlier, BJP MLA Manvendra Singh, the son of Jaswant Singh, has also joined the Congress.

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