Other States

Tough fight likely in Baroda bypoll

As the Baroda Assembly seat in Haryana’s Sonipat district goes to the poll on November 3, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, backed by its alliance partner the Jannayak Janta Party, seem to be poised for a tough battle even as the former looks placed a tad comfortable than its rivals.

As campaigning for the bypoll is at its peak in the constituency, considered to be a stronghold of the Congress, the BJP would want to make inroads into the Jat-dominated constituency. On the other hand, for the Congress, retaining its traditional seat would be self-assurance about its hold in State politics.

The death of Congress’s sitting MLA Krishan Hooda in April this year had necessitated the bypoll.

‘In Jat belt’

“The Baroda constituency is in the predominantly Jat belt and the ‘Hoodas’ command a good hold across this region. The Congress definitely has an edge as the seat is its stronghold. Besides, Independent candidates’ — Kapoor Narwal’s and Joginder Mor’s — withdrawal in support of the Congress candidate is an added advantage,” said Kushal Pal, head of the Department of Political Science with Dyal Singh College in Karnal.

“The BJP has once against fielded Yogeshwar Dutt, who does not have any baggage, besides Chief Minister Manohar Lal has a clean image, which goes in the party’s favour. The BJP has fielded a non-Jat candidate, which indicates their strategy to play around consolidation of the non-Jat voters. The consolidation would have benefited the BJP, however, given the ongoing resentment among farmers against the Centre’s recent farm laws, the consolidation looks unlikely,” he said.

Vijay Chauhan, assistant professor and head of the Department of Political Science, Maharana Pratap National College, Mullana, said the Baroda by-election is a litmus test for the ruling BJP-JJP while for the Congress, it’s a matter of pride. “The result would be a reflection on performance of the BJP-JJP alliance. For the Congress, there is a pressure of retaining the seat.”

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 5:31:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tough-fight-likely-in-baroda-bypoll/article32958476.ece

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