BJP seeks to placate Jats in Haryana

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party managed to win five of the ten seats.
BJP seeks to placate Jats in Haryana

CHANDIGARH: The BJP is mulling to placate the politically significant Jat community in Haryana in a bid to secure its position for the assembly polls scheduled for later this year.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party managed to win five of the ten seats. The rest went into Congress’ kitty, and of these four—Rohtak, Sonipat, Hisar and Sirsa — either fall in the Jat heartland or have Jat voters in the majority in at least half their assembly segments, underscoring the Jat community’s influence on Haryana politics.

According to sources, recently a meeting was held in Delhi chaired by BJP’s national president JP Nadda in which election in-charges—Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Biplab Deb— were present to discuss the Jat community voters.

Sources said the party prospects were affected by the Jat agitation for reservations, three farm laws (now scrapped), the women wrestlers’ protest, and the Agniveer scheme. “A section of leaders within the BJP feels the party would have done better to promote Jat leaders from within the party. The Jat faces of the party, such as Captain Abhimanyu, OP Dhankar and Subhash Barala, should have been given prominence in the state and the Centre,” said a party leader.

Moreover, the party leaders failed to gauge the ground reports that the Jat community felt “neglected”. “Top party leaders have been given feedback by the party cadres that the reason why the party won only five parliamentary seats in these elections against the ten of 2019 as it focused on non-Jat communities,”

In addition, sources said the appointment of Nayab Singh Saini, an OBC leader, as chief minister of the state, replacing Manohar Lal Khattar, just before the Lok Sabha elections did not go well with them.

Some believe the induction of Kiran Choudhary and her daughter into the BJP is seen as a step towards reconnecting with the Jat community.

The Jats constitute around 26-28% of the state’s population but remain the most influential group and have dominated politics since the state.

Kiran Choudhry factor

According to observers, the induction of Congress leader Kiran Choudhary and her daughter Shruti Choudhary into the BJP is seen as a step towards reconnecting with the Jat community. Both hail from influential political families, and Kiran is the daughter-in-law of former chief minister Bansi Lal.

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