Buta Singh upsetting applecart of BJP and Congress
Former Bihar Governor and estranged Congress old guard Sardar Buta Singh's entry in the fray as an Independent from this parliamentary constituency poised to upset the applecart of the Congress as well as rival BJP candidates.
As many as 16 contestants including Singh, sitting MP Devji Patel(BJP) and former MLA Udai Lal Anjana(Cong), are in the fray for the entry in the 16th Lok Sabha election from the constiteuncy that spreads over southern districts of Jalore and Sirohi along the Gujarat-Rajasthan border. The erstwhile kingdoms of Gurjara Pratiharas and Deora Rajputs--presently covering eight assembly segments--Ahore, Jalore,Bhinmal,Sanchore, Raniwara, Sirohi, Pindwara-Abu and Reodar-- in the twin districts, have so far been proved to be the Congress bastion electing the party nominees as MP in nine of the total 15 elections since 1952.
Buta Singh who came to Jalore from Punjab in 1984 in the back drop of the Operation Blue Star, himself has won four elections on this seat since then and thus has in his credit a feat of holding the seat for maximum terms.
For the former Union Home Minister this is the eighth outing for the battle of ballots in this desert land, of the previous seven occasions, he won four times and lost the elections thrice. In the last elections in 2009 also he had lost the clash to BJP nominee Devji Patel by a moderate margin of 40,000 votes pushing the then Congress nominee Sandhya Chaudhary to poor third place.
For extra advantage the Congress present nominee Anjana is taken by the party to this bordering constituency far from his home district of Chittorgarh and lacks adequate acceptance and rapport in the voters and even within the party ranks and files who brand him as an outsider.
There are many disgruntled within the Congress itself who believe that Anjana neither has previous connect-contribution in this constituency nor he has any say even within his Patel community that has strength of about 3.5 lakh votes. Secondly, BJP nominee Patel also belonged to the same community and being the local and sitting MP, that too from the ruling formation, are seen as extra advantages for him.
Political pundits feel that irrespective of party affiliation and political equation, Buta Singh over the period of 30 years has developed good rapport among people in the constituency and he enjoys very strong support base among Dalits-SCs and STs that comprise a group of say about 4.5 lakh. However, so hyped Modi factor and constituency's vicinity to Gujarat are some of the factors that indicate fairly good prospects for a success to BJP nominee Patel.
The BJP for past 10 years has been holding this seat and in recent assembly elections in December 2013 the saffron party has won in seven of the eight assembly segments under the constituency.
Now the campaigning for all contestants is in the final lag fpr the April 17 polling and the eleventh hour efforts for vote mobilisation sometimes change the scenario, the political observers say.
(Posted on 13-04-2014)