Ruling BJP, who is facing acute anti-incumbency in Rajasthan, is trying to woo every community through various means. However, saffron party’s biggest concern revolves around the Rajput community, which accounts for 12 per cent of Rajasthan’s population and gradually shifting from BJP to others.
Rajput community holds a considerable amount of support around two dozen assembly seats.
BJP leaders have already admitted that since 2016 there is a big resentment against Vasundhara Raje’s government, as Rajput leaders were getting sidelined from Chief Minister Raje. Apart from political issues, there have been many cultural and traditional incidents too, which caused embarrassment for BJP.
According to sources, there are series of incidents, including the Rajmahal land row, the Padmaavat controversy and Raje’s callous attitude towards Gajendra Singh Shekhawat during the selection of State BJP Chief, has created a feeling of uncertainty within the community.
Four major reasons for the rift
Initially, anger towards BJP started during Padmini Devi’s protest against Vasundhara Raje, the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur took out a massive protest against sealing of the main entrance of Rajmahal Palace during an anti-encroachment drive.
‘Padmavat’ release created a thick wall between BJP and Rajputs. The community strongly opposed the film and was offended that the Raje allowed it to be shot in Rajasthan.
Secondly, step to sideline Gajendra Singh Shekhawat created an anti- BJP feeling within the community. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who is a close aide of BJP chief Amit Shah, was the first choice for Rajasthan BJP Chief, however, Vasundhara Raje’s favourite Madan Lal Saini got better of Shekhawat.
Recently, Manvendra Singh’s move to join Congress was a big blow to BJP, as Rajputs who were considered as traditional vote bank saffron party is expected to incline towards Congress.
Assembly polls will take place on December 7 in Rajasthan and both BJP and Congress are involved in aggressive campaigning in the state.