Bishnois backing Bhajan Lal’s grandson; Jats’ consolidation behind Congress’ JP

Bishnoi community in Adampur assembly constituency is fully backing BJP candidate and former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s grandson Bhavya Bishnoi, while Jats’ larger consolidation seems behind Congress candidate Jai Prakash for the upcoming bypoll here on November 3.

Among 1.71 lakh voters, Jats are the largest segment of voters comprising nearly one-third of the total votes. Among the remaining over one lakh voters, three segments of the society – Bishnois, BCs and SCs – consist of nearly equal vote share. For the past several decades, Bishnois have been backing Bhajan Lal while admitting the major role of the three-time chief minister in the upliftment of the community. The community members are known for their love and sacrifice for the environment and wildlife.

Guru Jambheshwar, who is also known as Jambhoji, was the founder of the Bishnoi sect.

Jats’ mobilisation behind Jai Prakash, who is commonly called JP, got a momentum after former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son and Rajya Sabha member Deepender Hooda camped in the Adampur constituency in the last phase of the poll campaign. The intense campaigning by the father-son duo gave an impression among their supporters that Jai Prakash may win the election if he gets a considerable share of votes among other communities, particularly Scheduled Castes. As soon as the momentum picked up pace, bringing Jai Prakash in the main contest, his supporters started making efforts to bring others in his favour with a very planned strategy in the villages.

Bhavya Bishnoi supporters say that a section of Jats has always led the anti-Bhajan Lal lobby in the local politics of Adampur where the Bhajan Lal family never lost an election after 1968 when Lal was first elected to the Vidhan Sabha from here. During his time of prominence in state politics, Bhajan Lal had succeeded in wooing a large number of the non-Jats, a space which is currently being claimed by BJP in Haryana. In the Adampur bypoll too, in several villages a significant section of Kumhar, Nayak and Brahmins has tilted in favour of Bhavya Bishnoi amid efforts of Congressmen for a similar support base for Jai Prakash, especially in Scheduled Caste Chamar community.

Recalling Bhajan Lal, Chikanwas village resident Pawan Bishnoi says: “We still remember him. He was instrumental in providing government jobs to even those whom you can’t even imagine. Kuldeep Bishnoi can’t compete with him. We are fully backing Bhavya Bishnoi in this election to get the works done in the remaining two years of the current BJP-JJP government.” Pawan Bishnoi adds: “Nearly all votes out of total 380 Bishnoi voters of Chikanwas village will go to Bhavya Bishnoi. Other castes will also support him. Congress’s Jai Prakash will get anti-Bhajan Lal family votes only.”

In the same village, a Jat youth Sonu Malik says: “Jats have more votes here than Bishnois. Except a few families, Jats will give votes to Jai Prakash this time. Even women had gone to attend a poll meeting of Bhupinder Singh Hooda in our village. However, I know two families of Jats in our village who will vote for INLD candidate Kurda Ram too.”

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