Millennium Post

Kiroris to decide poll fate

Hectic election campaigns are on and they are being joined by some star campaigners and senior leaders of the two political parties. This time Meena, a present Lok Sabha member from Dausa and a former minister in Rajasthan has been claiming emergence of his NPP as the third force in the state facing the assembly election. Meena is  possibly looking at his future role as a king-maker expecting a hung assembly after announcement of the results on 8 December 2013.

The other Kirodi, Bainsala, has recently shifted loyalty from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Congress to help the party in consolidating its position prior to the polls with support of the Gurjars and other special backward class communities.

Bainsla had contested the Lok Sabha election as a BJP nominee from Sawai Madhopur seat and lost to a Congress candidate Namo Narain Meena by a slender margin of 300 votes.

The surveys though have been predicting a marginal simple majority to the BJP but have also created an atmosphere of uncertainty as the ruling Congress party has stimulated its efforts,  keeping in view this very fact that the two Kirodis are being taken as important players in the pre and post election scenario.

Meena is a doctor and has been in politics for a reasonably long time. He served as a Cabinet minister and is presently representing Dausa Lok Sabha seat.  His wife Golma Devi, an independent MLA had also been a minister in the Gehlot cabinet.  She helped the Congress party in forming the state government in 2008 when the Congress was short of a simple majority and it had to secure support of many independents and defection by BSP MLAs. Meena contested the last Lok Sabha election from Dausa as a BJP candidate and defeated a Kashmiri Muslim, Congress candidate fielded by Sachin Pilot.

The election took a communal turn as all Gurjars also voted for Meena despite their old enmity with the Meenas. Pilot had to search for an unreserved constituency after Dosa was termed as a reserved seat for the STs consequent upon the implementation of the recommendations of the delimitation commission.

Meena’s party NPP has become an abode for the leaders being denied re-nomination by the Congress and the BJP during ticket allotments. Further the three BJP outgoing MLAs and a former minister joined the NPP on desertion from their old parties. Meena has been attracting large enthusiast’s from everywhere. He has fielded around 150 candidates as he expects dent in the two major parties traditional vote bank at least in 34 assembly constituencies dominated by the STs. Meena has no dearth of money for election campaigns.  Further it is learnt that Meena has spent an amount of Rs 6 crore on account of his campaign by a chopper.  It is also being mentioned that the NPP is being probably financed by the lobby of Meena’s top officers in the state. Meena is now looking forward to encouraging results.

The red turbaned, white clothes clad holding a lathi, Bainsala fought for declaration of the Gurjar community as ST during 2007 to 2010 witnessing death of around 70 so called satyagrahis camping for many days over the rail tracks in four major stirs.

Bainsala had said, ‘Only a ballet or a letter can remove me from rail track’.  The Samiti had been raising a forceful demand for ST status for the Gurjars as they are illiterate and living in abject poverty and finding it difficult to benefit from 27 per cent OBC quota being claimed by the other 123 caste groups. Bainsala became the second leader to forcefully occupy any public place for many days after Tikait.

He joined the Congress party and claimed that he would be able to secure support of communities like Gurjars, Bavarias, Gadia Lohars, Rebaris and Gadarias, all special backward classes, a decisive force in 24 assembly seats.  It is being stated that 13 out of 34 seats have sizable presence of the SCBs.

Their number is around 40 lacks. The Congress has fielded 12 and the BJP 10 SCBs as their candidates. A section of the Gurjars opposing the joining of Bainsala’s Congress party have been claiming devaluation of the leader, once making headlines in the national and international media. He is also being termed as a spent force. Time would decide their fate and the relevance of the two Kirodis.

The author is a communication consultant
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