Haryana: BJP’s task cut out in seats dominated by Muslims, hit by 2016 Jat quota stir

Varinder Bhatia
In Nuh, BJP got 34,258 votes, while the Congress got 82,116 votes. Similarly in Firozpur Jhirka, BJP got 26,466 votes while Congress got 1,08,324 votes; and in Punhana, BJP got 22,267 votes while Congress got 81,876 votes.

Despite a thumping mandate that led BJP to a historic victory on all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana in May 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Assembly constituency-wise voting patterns in each parliamentary constituency reveal that three Muslim dominated constituencies in southern Haryana and at least six Jat dominated constituencies, which had remained an epicentre of Jat reservation stir violence that resulted in death of 40 persons in February 2016, had rather outrightly rejected the BJP.

These include three Muslim-dominated constituencies Nuh, Firozpur Jhirka and Punhana, and the hardcore Jat-dominated constituencies of Beri, Jhajjar, Baroda, Meham, Badli and Garhi Sampla-Kiloi. BJP has given a slogan of “Abki baar, 75 paar” for the upcoming October 21polls.

In Nuh, BJP got 34,258 votes, while the Congress got 82,116 votes. Similarly in Firozpur Jhirka, BJP got 26,466 votes while Congress got 1,08,324 votes; and in Punhana, BJP got 22,267 votes while Congress got 81,876 votes.

Similarly in Beri, BJP got 42,998 votes while Congress got 68,991 votes; in Jhajjar, BJP got 52,746 votes while Congress got 57,395 votes; in Baroda, BJP bagged 48,941 votes while Congress got 65,689 votes. The results in Meham showed BJP getting 54,721 votes, while Congress got 68,826 votes. When Badli voted in the Lok Sabha polls, BJP got 50,374 votes while Congress got 61,928 votes. In Garhi Sampla-Kiloi, the Assembly seat of former CM Bhupinder Hooda, BJP got 46,881 votes while Congress got 92,606 votes in the Lok Sabha polls.

Out of the Jat-dominated constituencies, Beri, Meham, Badli, Garhi Sampla-Kiloi and Jhajjar Assembly segments fall in Rohtak parliamentary constituency from where BJP’s Arvind Kumar Sharma defeated Congress’s Deepender Singh Hooda. Baroda constituency falls in Sonipat parliamentary constituency from where BJP’s Ramesh Chander Kaushik defeated Congress’s Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

However, refusing to comment on caste-dynamics of the state, former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a member of the Jat community, said, “I do not indulge in caste-politics. Congress party gets votes from all the castes. People from 36-biradari are with us.”

Haryana’s Agriculture minister, Om Prakash Dhankar, who is also member of the Jat community and is seeking re-election from Badli, said, “BJP is comfortable on all the Assembly segments. Irrespective of the Lok Sabha patterns, not only I, but entire Cabinet and all BJP nominees will win with even better margins as compared to 2014.”

Opposition in Haryana had been accusing BJP of playing “divisive politics” and “polarising the voters”. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is seeking re-election from Kaithal Assembly segment, said “Division, hatred and polarisation is the DNA of BJP,” adding that “BJP was still trying to polarise voters on caste lines, on communal lines, but I do not think that will work in polls this time”.

Regarding Muslim dominated constituencies, BJP has fielded INLD turncoats Zakir Husain in Nuh, Naseem Ahmed in Firozpur Jhirka. Both are seeking re-election. In Punhana, BJP has fielded debutant Nouksham Chaudhary.