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Beniwal’s RLP could hurt BJP, Congress in Rajasthan

NewsBeniwal’s RLP could hurt BJP, Congress in Rajasthan

Beniwal may have impact in the Jat dominated districts of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Churu, Ajmer and Udaipur.


Hanuman Beniwal, once a big name in the BJP, is now posing a serious challenge to both the BJP and Congress in Rajasthan in at least 20 seats. Rajasthan has 200 Assembly seats. The idea of Beniwal providing a third alternative to the voters of Rajasthan may hurt the prospects of both the Congress and BJP in various seats in the Jat dominated districts of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Churu, Ajmer and Udaipur. Beniwal started his political career as president of the students’ union of Rajasthan University in 1997-78 and later became a Member of the Rajasthan Assembly in 2008 on a BJP ticket from Khinvsar constituency in Nagaur district. Beniwal was suspended from the BJP in 2013 after he made accusations against his party members of having connections with leaders of the rival Congress.
In the 2013 Rajasthan Assembly elections, he won as an independent candidate from Khinvsar, and later in 2018, he launched the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) and promised to provide a third alternative to the people of Rajasthan, where the BJP and Congress come into power every alternate term. His party, RLP, was part of the NDA, and Beniwal himself is an MP from Nagaur constituency. However, he parted ways with the NDA in 2020 when he supported the farmers’ agitation against the farmer bills, calling them “anti-farmers”. After his exit from the NDA, Beniwal is trying to rope in votes from the Jat community, which has influence on almost 90 Assembly seats. Beniwal has made an alliance with the Chandershekhar Ravan-led Azad Samaj Party, RLP is contesting 77 seats, while ASP is contesting 66 seats.
The Beniwal-led RLP has influence on 20 seats, where it will dent the votes of both the BJP and Congress.

However, at maximum, it can win 5 to 6 seats.
In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Beniwal-led RLP secured around 9 lakh votes and managed to win 3 seats, affecting BJP the most. To counter this effect, the BJP successfully formed an alliance with the RLP in the 2019 general elections and won all 25 seats. However, Beniwal contesting alone can once again affect the BJP, but this time they have managed well with the inclusion of local Jat leaders in the Jat dominant seats and big leaders like Dr Jyoti Mirdha, who left Congress and is contesting from Nagaur on a BJP ticket, while Revantram Danga, who is very close to him, is challenging him on a BJP ticket from Khinvsar.

Beniwal has his eyes on the Jat vote bank. Therefore, most of the candidates have been fielded in Jat-dominated areas. This includes the Jat-dominated seats of Barmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Bhilwara, Ajmer, and Udaipur. The Congress and BJP have also given chances to Jats in most of these seats. Obviously, RLP will only spoil the electoral equation in most of the seats of the BJP or Congress.

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