JAIPUR: Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah ended his hectic, three-day election tour in Rajasthan on Tuesday, which was a massive bid by the saffron outfit to woo Jats, the biggest OBC community in the state.
Addressing a large gathering of Jats, a predominantly farming community in Nagaur district, Shah said that the Narendra Modi government was determined to double farmers’ incomes and that was why the MSP of many crops was hiked by 150 per cent.
Blaming the Congress for the sorry plight of farmers, Shah claimed, “Only the BJP can improve the condition of farmers as the Modi government has provided better compensation for crop damage. After 2014, we have also ensured that farmers do not have to stand in queue to get urea as happened in Congress’ times.”
On the first day of his tour on Sunday, Shah had held an OBC rally in Pali district of Marwar region with hopes of bringing backward communities under the BJP’s umbrella.
Amit Shah said that the BJP was not a party of any one caste and he also tried to play the Hindutva card by raising the NRC issue in most of his speeches.
Shah also tried to placate upper castes upset with Rajasthan BJP, particularly the Rajputs.
Known to be BJP voters, they are angry with the saffron party over various issues, including handling of protests over the movie Padmavat. Sensing the damage that Rajput anger posed to BJP’s prospects in Marwar, Shah began his tour from Pali and Jodhpur districts, accompanied by Jodhpur MP and senior Rajput leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a minister in the Modi Government.
Shah had wanted to make him state party president, but due to strong opposition by Vasundhara Raje to Gajendra’s candidature, the post was kept vacant for 72 days and a low-profile Madan Lal Saini was eventually appointed to the post. This further annoyed the Rajput community.
To win the Rajputs back to the BJP fold, Amit Shah had recently appointed Gajendra Singh as the convenor of the crucial Election Management Committee where Raje is just a member, a move seen as a strong signal to the Rajput community.