Other States

Alliance poses a challenge to Congress

Rashtriya Loktantrik Party candidate Narayan Beniwal during his election campaign in Khinvsar.

Rashtriya Loktantrik Party candidate Narayan Beniwal during his election campaign in Khinvsar.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

RLP candidate, backed by BJP, tries to harvest farmer discontent in Khinvsar

The alliance between the BJP and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, which won Rajasthan’s Nagaur seat in this year’s Lok Sabha election, has posed a formidable challenge to the ruling Congress which is trying to retain the legacy of politically influential Mirdha family in the by-election to the Khinvsar Assembly seat. All eyes are on the farmers in the Jat-dominated constituency.

The RLP, floated by the then Independent MLA from Khinvsar, Hanuman Beniwal, entered into an alliance as a regional party with the BJP and joined the NDA just before the 2019 general elections. The Khinvsar seat became vacant after Mr. Beniwal was elected an MP from Nagaur, creating new political equations in which the Congress seems to be at a disadvantage.

The Congress, which has lost the seat during the last three successive Assembly elections, has given ticket in the bypoll to former Minister Harendra Mirdha, who is son of veteran leader Ram Niwas Mirdha.

The RLP has fielded Mr. Beniwal’s younger brother Narayan Beniwal, supported by the BJP, as its candidate in a bid to benefit from the Jat leader’s popularity in the region. Mr. Narayan Beniwal, who heads the Khinvsar Kraya Vikraya Sahakari Samiti, has been active in the cooperative sector for a decade and raised the farmers’ issues at different forums.

Amid the resentment among farmers over incomplete loan waiver despite the Congress government’s promise, Mr. Beniwal has described Mr. Mirdha as a “political tourist” visiting the region during election season. In his election campaign, the RLP candidate has charged the State government with failure on all fronts and claimed to have protected the interests of farmers.

‘Benefits for farmers’

Mr. Beniwal said he would work for regularisation of agricultural power connections, removal of dark zone tag in the areas where ground water level had improved, allotment of mining lease on farming land and extension of more benefits to farmers if elected to the State Assembly.

The Congress leaders have alleged that the Khinvsar constituency had slipped on all parameters of development since 2008 when Mr. Hanuman Beniwal won for his first term as an MLA.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 8:34:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/alliance-poses-a-challenge-to-congress/article29715138.ece

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